An Analysis of the Conception of Love and Its Influence on Justice in the Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr

Journal of Religious Ethics 18 (2):15 - 31 (1990)

Abstract

In the social thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., the ideal society is to be sought through the establishment of justice understood as an embodiment of love. King, using the model of the love-justice relationship developed by Paul Tillich, understood this relation to be organic and universal, finding it not only in Judaeo-Christian tradition (particularly as interpreted through the African American religious experience) but also in other religions of the world (particularly Hinduism as interpreted by Gandhi). This essay explores the love-justice relationship in King's thought in terms of its sources, its implication for his understanding of the state, and the implications of love for a full conception of justice in the ideal society-"the beloved community.".

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