How does MLK Jr. use religious memory to support the actions of the Civil Rights Movement in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"?also if you were one of the "white moderates" that he was writing to, do...

How does MLK Jr. use religious memory to support the actions of the Civil Rights Movement in "Letter from a Birmingham Jail"?

also if you were one of the "white moderates" that he was writing to, do you think that his argument would convince you..

Asked on by texanfan18

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brettd | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Long considered one of the defining pieces of writing in Martin Luther King Jr.'s storied career as a Reverend and civil rights activist, Letter From a Birmingham Jail is full of biblical and religious themes that remind the reader (as well as the white southern clergymen on the receiving end of the letter) that King is, indeed, a student of religion and that the "Dr." at the beginning of his name is well-earned.

I assume by religious memory you mean religious history and arguments of theology.  King quotes the Apostle Paul and his call to spread the Gospel, as well as quotes Corinthians about the need for moral and physical charity. He also draws the comparisons between moral laws and God's law, and the historical unity of the two.

King's Letter is so compelling and well-argued, so beautifully phrased, that were I to be a recipient of that letter as a white clergymen of the time, having argued that King and the Civil Rights movement were untimely and illegal, I would feel about three inches tall.

Sources:

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