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Old 03-31-2009, 09:09 PM   #41
@Rogue Nine
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After reading King's essay on his Pilgrimage to Nonviolence, a few things popped up at me:

Originally Posted by Martin Luther King, Jr.
As I delved deeper into the philosophy of Gandhi my skepticism concerning the power of love gradually diminished, and I came to see for the first time its potency in the area of social reform. Prior to reading Gandhi, I had about concluded that the ethics of Jesus were only effective in individual relationship. The “turn the other cheek” philosophy and the “love your enemies” philosophy were only valid, I felt, when individuals were in conflict with other individuals; when racial groups and nations were in conflict a more realistic approach seemed necessary. But after reading Gandhi, I saw how utterly mistaken I was.
It would seem that studying Gandhi gave him a clearer understanding of ethics and love. Judging from his own words, it could be argued that had he not found Gandhi's teachings, he might not have been able to reach this clearer understanding.

Originally Posted by Martin Luther King, Jr.
It was in this Gandhian emphasis on love and nonviolence that I discovered the method for social reform that I had been seeking for so many months.
He gives no illusions as to where he gets his methods for his actions in civil rights reform.

Even the MLK Research and Education Institute acknowledges the scope of Gandhi's influence on Dr. King:
Originally Posted by MLK Research and Education Institute
In 1950 King traveled to Philadelphia to hear a talk given by Dr. Mordecai Johnson, president of Howard University. Dr. Johnson had just returned from India and spoke of the life and teachings of Mohandas Gandhi. King was inspired by what he heard, and after reading several books on Gandhi's life and works, his skepticism concerning the power of love and nonviolence diminished.
From this, it appears that prior to studying Gandhi, Dr, King was unsure about the philosophy of nonviolence and its practicality.

Originally Posted by MLK Research and Education Institute
The experience in Montgomery enabled King to merge the ideas of Gandhi with Christian theology. He recalled, “. . . my mind, consciously or unconsciously, was driven back to the Sermon on the Mount and the Gandhian method of nonviolent resistance. This principle became the guiding light of our movement. Christ furnished the spirit and motivation while Gandhi furnished the method.”
Dr. King of course brought his message back to Christianity, but from this text it would seem that Gandhi played an almost, if not fully, equal part in influencing Dr. King's nonviolent methods.

Hell, even the US Government has passed a resolution acknowledging and endorsing the influence Gandhi had on Dr. King. I think it's fairly safe to say that Mohandas Gandhi played an enormous part in influencing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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