This propensity to shape the minds of black students was not lost on young King.
In Mays's strength of purpose and religious commitment, young men like Martin found a role model. Mays as an enormous influence on him in his formative years.
Next came Hegel and his contention that "truth is the whole." This fascinated King and convinced him that growth comes through struggle, an idea that would later prove very important in his life.
While King deplored the substituting of materialism for religious values, he applauded Marx for exposing the injustices of capitalism, promoting class consciousness among the workers, and challenging the complacency of the Christian churches.
It was in part due to his reading of Marx that King became convinced that capitalism had failed the needs of the masses and that it had outlived its usefulness.
When it comes to identifying his greatest influence, however, I think King might place Walter Rauschenbush ahead of all of these philosophers, for his book Christianity and the Social Crisis.In King's own words: "Niebuhr helped me to recognize the complexity of man's social involvement and the glowing reality of collective evil."In what is perhaps Niebuhr's most relevant statement on the subject of non-violent direct action, he professes, "Even in a just and free society, there must be forms of pressure short of violence, but more potent than the vote, to establish justice in collective relations." This is obviously a thought that King both liked and followed.It is interesting to note that Niebuhr was critical of using anything except force to combat imperialism, territorial aggression, and class exploitation. Roots of Resistance: The Nonviolence Ethic of Martin Luther King, Jr., Valley Forge, PA: Judson Press.King's own words closely echo this statement when he professes that, "the best way to assure oneself that love is disinterested is to have love for the enemy-neighbor from whom you can expect no good in return, but only hostility and persecution."As well, in later years, King talks of nonviolence as a way of catching or drawing one's opponent off balance and, as a result, potentially changing his or her mind.When nonviolent resistance is practiced effectively, it can disarm one's opponent by weakening his moral defences and disturbing his conscience.and one of the principal influences in molding his personality.King's father was constantly concerned with social and political issues."If humanity is to progress, Gandhi is inescapable. Were those influences restricted to Gandhi, or were there other, equally important individuals whom Dr. It appears that there were a myriad of thinkers, philosophers, and people whom King knew personally, who were responsible for shaping his approach.He lived, thought, and acted, inspired by the vision of humanity evolving toward a world of peaceand harmony. Martin Luther King's main political teaching is that "Non-violent civil disobedience is the primary and necessary means of effecting social and political change." How did Dr. Personal Influences"In an age when whites viewed black neighborhoods as hellholes of vice and social disorganization, Daddy King's church stood like an anchor in a stable and respectable community.Niebuhr played a vital part in stimulating the renaissance of theology in the United States.King was intrigued by the key ideas in Niebuhr's theological book, The Nature and Destiny of Man (1941).