“a God of love”

In seminary, Rev. King wrote an essay for the class “Religious Development of Personality.” He begins by describing his upbringing, his health from birth, and even his IQ (“somewhat above the average.”) He then explains:

One may ask at this point, why discuss such factors as the above in a paper dealing with ones religious development? The answer to this question lies in the fact that the above factors were highly significant in determining my religious attitudes. It is quite easy for me to think of a God of love mainly because I grew up in a family where love was central and where lovely relationships were ever present. It is quite easy for me to think of the universe as basically friendly mainly because of my uplifting hereditary and environmental circumstances. It is quite easy for me to lean more toward optimism than pessimism about human nature mainly because of my childhood experiences. It is impossible to get at the roots of one’s religious attitudes without taking in account the psychological and historical factors that play upon the individual. So that the above biographical factors are absolutely necessary in understanding my religious development. — MLK, An Autobiography of Religious Development

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