Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dr. King's Time in Boston . 3 | Paths to the Past

Martin had explained his choice of Boston University (not his first, but the Yale Divinity School had rejected him despite being at the top of his class at Crozier) this way in his application to the School of Theology.

For a number of years I have been desirous of teaching in a college or a school of religion. Realizing the necessity for scholastic attainment in the teaching profession, I feel that graduate work would give me a better grasp of my field. At present I have a general knowledge of my field, but I have not done the adequate research to meet the scholarly issues with which I will be confronted in thie area. It is my candid opinion that the teaching of theology should be as scientific, as thorough, and as realistic as any other discipline. In a word, scholarship is my goal. For this reason I am desirous of doing graduate work. I feel that a few years of intensified study in a graduate school will give me a thorough grasp of knowledge in my field.

My particular interest in Boston University can be summed up in two statements. First my thinking in philosophical areas has been greatly influenced by some of the faculty members there, particularly Dr. Brightman. For this reason I have longed for the possibility of studying under him. Secondly, one of my present professors is a graduate of Boston University, and his great influence over me has turned my eyes toward his former school. From him I have gotten some valuable information about Boston University, and I have been convinced that there are definite advantages there for me.

Edgar S. Brightman was an influential philosopher and Christian theologian who had many followers among the Crozier faculty including King's adviser at the seminary. For decades while teaching at B.U., from 1919 to 1953, Brightman was a leader of the theological movement called Personalism or more particularly since he, B.U. and other Boston intellectuals were such a force in the development and spread of this school of thought, Boston Personalism.

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