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Title page for ETD etd-11062008-135716

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Seay, George Russell
Author's Email Address grseay@bellsouth.net
URN etd-11062008-135716
Title Theologian of synthesis: the dialectical method of Martin Luther King, Jr. as revealed in his critical thinking on theology, history, and ethics
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Victor Anderson, Ph.D. Committee Chair
Lewis V Baldwin, Ph.D. Committee Member
Paul J DeHart, Ph.D. Committee Member
Peter C Hodgson, Ph.D. Committee Member
  • Ethics
  • Martin Luther King
  • G. W. F. Hegel
  • Dialectical Method
  • Theology
  • Philosophy of History
  • Jr.
  • Personalism
  • Civil Rights Movement
Date of Defense 2008-10-03
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation examines Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dialectical method, as particularly developed from his reading of G. W. F. Hegel and extended and modified in his own views on theology, history, and ethics. However, few have sought to map the forms of rationalization that controlled how King understood and developed his own account of religious thought, historical movement, and ethical rationality. In this dissertation, I identify the form of rationality that best captures how King understood theology, history and ethics as dialectical, that is, the synthesis of two conflicting views, movements, and actions. Conclusively, this study will suggest a way of understanding praxis and theology as entailing a unity of critical reason/rationality and social action as these were displayed in the dialectical thinking of King in religious thought, history and ethics.
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