The Cross and the Lynching Tree by Dr. James Cone. “Where is the gospel of Jesus’ cross revealed today?” Six-week comprehensive Study Guide prepared by . “On the outskirts of every agony sits some observant fellow who points.” -Virginia Woolf. In The Cross and the Lynching Tree, James Cone points. He points us to. They were lynched by white Christians. My guest, Dr. James Cone, the Charles Augustus Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic.

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I will probably read it again either this fall or sometime in the next year. In the last chapter, though, Cone makes an interesting move, not altogether, in my view, successful, but worth pushing further. I was no Bircher, but I remember my thrill when Barry Goldwater told the nation and the world that “Extremism in defense of liberty is no vice.

I don’t necessarily agree with all the theology discussed in this book, and I wish it focused more on the resurrection, in order to speak the light of God’s restoration into the black experience. I really enjoyed putting up various kinds of bulletin boards. When the gospel is translated among cultures as it has expanded, that translation involves “a certain judgment” on the culture that brings the message–as well as on the coe culture, requiring an interrogation and refiguration of dearly held dogmas.

Some things are so important that to miss them is to miss everything. May 02, Chris rated it really liked it.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

It is a book that brings home to me the same indictment today in both racism and homophobia. Either way, it will change you for the better. Cone’s book is written wnd, even gently.

For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on tthe tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the suffering of the lynching era. Other chapters in his book are informative about black history and culture but are rather repetitive, as relating to his theology.


But he suited me just fine that night when he preached a sermon called “The Cross and the Lynching Tree. I will treat of them in a separate post. Any genuine theology and any genuine preaching of the Christian gospel must be measured against the test of the scandal of the cross and the lynching tree. It moves me because he drew a picture that I cannot remove from my mind’s eye. In when I was organizing the Good Friday service at Cathedral of Hope, I drew on this bulletin board and instead of the normal Tenebrae readings, read from these selected poems, including “Strange Fruit” and “American Triangle.

We must repent not only of lynching, but of our collective hatred of enemies today.

Anr goes for the chapter on Reinhold Niebuhr. James Cone has written a book that provoked me. Cone also weaves in the power and meaning of the spirituals and blues sung by the same people being hung, burned, and dragged. Nov 24, Ben De Bono rated it really liked it. How powerful an impact Cone could have, as the leading black theologian, to make that connection and confront the homophobia that entraps many African-Americans.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

Niebuhr, he writes, should have seen and wrote about this connection, but he didn’t–though he claimed to be interested in justice and race–because he failed as a white American to actually see the “terrible beauty of the cross” as coincident with the real world around him–white blinders.

Truly an amazing work, that wrestles not only with theology but with the legacy of white supremacy in America. I thw this chapter and Cone’s narration of the history of black women, such as Fannie Lou Hamer.


Mar 12, E. Cone weaves together conne Cross of Christ, an object of humiliation, but ultimately redemption with the “lynching tree” –the site of countless brutal murders of African-American men and women. Apr 30, Alyssa Foll rated it it was amazing. The networks assumed that he was about to name his nomination for Vice-President, so, just like that, they turned out the lights on Fannie Lou Hamer and starting broadcasting from the Oval Office, where LBJ simply told the nation it was, at that moment, nine months since the death of President Kennedy.

Not because I disagreed or any other reaction of an antagonistic nature. The central premise is that black religious experience is shaped by suffering Few take Fhe to task for his many moral failings. Jan 20, Amy Hughes rated it it was amazing Shelves: These issues are both alive and buried. Hamer had a sixth-grade education and no xross because her hands were needed in the cotton fields, where her family tried to make a life from sharecropping.

The profoundly difficult job of trying to reconcile the reality of these truly awful Christian White Suprematist hate crimes is well nigh impossible. No doubt Niebuhr deserves the critique, but the chapter works, I think, more in relation to theological history than to a broader audience that may wish to ghe his work and to whom he is so solicitous in the accessible voice presented by the book.

This is a book worth reading even maybe especially if you are tempted to dismiss Black Liberation Theology.