His third year of doctoral work at boston university, martin luther king wrote crozer theological seminary’s george davis, his former advisor, about his progress in graduate school. He disclosed that he had begun to research his dissertation and that the late edgar brightman, his first mentor at boston, and his current dissertation advisor, l.
So far, my dissertation title is: ‘a comparison of the conception of god in the thinking of paul tillich and henry nelson wieman.
Davis commended king on selecting ‘‘an excellent dissertation topic’’ and expressed his confidence that king would ‘‘do a good piece of work with it’’ (papers 2:225).Passed his final doctoral examination in february 1954, and his dissertation outline was approved by boston university’s graduate school on 9 april, shortly before he accepted the call to pastor dexter avenue baptist church.
King’s letter of acceptance to dexter’s congregation specified that he be ‘‘granted an allowance of time to complete my work at boston university,’’ though he would be ‘‘able to fill the pulpit at least once or twice per month.
He also asked that the church cover his expenses during the completion of his dissertation, ‘‘including traveling expenses’’ (papers 2:260).Chose to focus his dissertation research on tillich and wieman due to their status as influential religious thinkers and as representatives of divergent views on the nature of god. King’s comparison of tillich’s and wieman’s concepts of god reflected his adherence to personalism, which proceeds from the belief that god possesses a personality and can therefore have a relationship with human beings.
King’s analysis of tillich’s and wieman’s theological concepts as ‘‘unsatisfactory’’ and ‘‘inadequate a philosophical and religious world-views’’ followed from his belief that god was a living force, ‘‘responsive to the deepest yearnings of the human heart; this god both evokes and answers prayer’’ (papers 2:532; 533; 512).
In the end, king pointed out the two theologians’ views of god are not ‘‘basically sound’’ because they ‘‘render real religious experience impossible’’ (papers 2:532).
Papers project of the king institute has revealed that as a student at crozer and boston, king frequently appropriated the words of other writers without proper attribution.
His habit of plagiarizing others’ work, intentionally or not, can be found in the various drafts of his dissertation.
King borrowed from several secondary sources without proper citation, including a dissertation written by fellow crozer student jack boozer for dewolf three years earlier, and a review of tillich’s systematic theology written by one of king’s former ’s professors did not detect this pattern in his scholarship.
After king submitted the first draft of his dissertation, dewolf filed a report observing that he had sent his specific criticisms, ‘‘most of them formal or minor,’’ to the candidate.
Dewolf reminded king to submit an abstract of the dissertation ‘‘early’’ to allow proper time for revision and to clearly set forth his thesis statement (papers 2:333).Paul schilling, the dissertation’s second reader, approved the draft as turned in the final version of his dissertation by the 15 april 1955 deadline, returning to boston for his oral defense.
Graduate faculty at boston university voted to confer the phd on king in may 1955; however, due to financial difficulties and coretta scott king’s pregnancy, he was unable to attend et al.As scholar: a reexamination of his theological writings,’’ journal of american history 78 (june 1991): 93– to king, 7 december 1953, in papers 2:225–, first reader’s report, 26 february 1955, in papers 2:333–, ‘‘a comparison of the conceptions of god in the thinking of paul tillich and henry nelson wieman,’’ 15 april 1955, in papers 2:339– to davis, 1 december 1953, in papers 2:223– to dexter avenue baptist church, 14 april 1954, in papers 2: papers project, ‘‘the student papers of martin luther king, jr. Schilling, second reader’s report, 26 february 1955, in papers 2:334– | about us | contact us | copyright information | the king ship issues concerning martin luther king jr. These issues fall into two general categories: one is his academic research papers (including his doctoral dissertation), and the other is his speeches. Regarding his phd dissertation, an academic inquiry concluded in october 1991 that portions of his dissertation had been plagiarized and that he had acted improperly. However, a letter is now attached to king's dissertation in the university library, noting that numerous passages were included without the appropriate quotations and citations of sources.
S papers were donated by his wife coretta scott king to stanford university's king papers project.
During the late 1980s, as the papers were being organized and catalogued, the staff of the project discovered that king's doctoral dissertation at boston university, titled a comparison of the conception of god in the thinking of paul tillich and henry nelson wieman, included large sections from a dissertation written by another student (jack boozer) three years earlier at boston university.
Clayborne carson, director of the king papers project at stanford university, has written, "instances of textual appropriation can be seen in his earliest extant writings as well as his dissertation. Luker, who worked on the king papers project directing the research on king's early life, king's paper the chief characteristics and doctrines of mahayana buddhism was taken almost entirely from secondary sources.
10] he writes:Moreover, the farther king went in his academic career, the more deeply ingrained the patterns of borrowing language without clear attribution became.Thus, the plagiarism in his dissertation seemed to be, by then, the product of his long-established practice.
Incident was first reported in the december 3, 1989, edition of the sunday telegraph by frank johnson, titled "martin luther king—was he a plagiarist?