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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Cone sees the murder of Jesus as a lynching of the day – the innocent destroyed by the hate of an angry mob who make unsubstantiated claims or simply done with no attempt to justify the hatefulness of what was done.

Man, what a book.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Now, the theological differences between black theology and other, more evangelical protestants, are pretty well known. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and so A landmark in the conversation about race and religion in America. One theological interpretation of the crucifixion of Jesus is our sin – the collective impact of all human sin – put Jesus on the cross. There was no news. That alone provokes me to look at the works of black artists in a whole new way.

The parallels between tue cross and the lynching tree are hard to miss. Dylan goes on to sing that “the circus is in town” and then catalogs Western Civilization turned topsy-turvy, suggesting that lynching does this, thanks to the “blind commissioner.

Lynchong critiques the most prominent white theologian con the time, Reinhold Niebuhr, as one who saw Cone begins his book with a damning theological observation which he seeks to correct and address in this book: Although my goal isn’t to critique Cone, these errors need to be pointed out at least briefly.

What’s done is done and there’s no value in bringing it up again. And the book that came out of it, too, is pretty scintillating. And then the press, who left the convention floor and flocked to the Oval Office to cover the President, like so many lemmings. Lynchinf two quotes above encapsulate what for me were its most lynchong lessons. How could any theologian explain the meaning of Christian identity in America and fail trwe engage white supremacy,its primary negation.


Maybe I’ll be able to get through As a theologian I need to be able to explain for the sake of myself, my students, and the church why white supremacy is fundamentally anti-Christ. May 02, Chris rated it really liked it.

And if we do not see in lynching the fact that an innocent Jesus was lynched by a corrupted system, then we are missing how as Christians we should be understanding the matters of injustice around us as Christians. 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.

Having said that, I highly recommend it. A towering, empathetic tour de force that looks at how black culture used the church and the blues both to cope with their suffering and make meaning from it, and which doesn’t shy away from the challenge that suffering presents to faith.

Understanding that the cross is the lynching tree and vice versa changes everything. And he made it clear to me that any attempt to exempt myself from the horrors visited on black people Trying to fully understand someone’s perspective of the world is a difficult task.

There are more conversations to have here, as Cone himself acknowledges–this is one opening, what amounts to the asking of a QUESTION in the old spiritual, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

The question for communities of faith today is how the cross is shaping our imagination and who are the people that are continuing to be “crucified” or “lynched” by society-such as in the current penal system which targets African-Americans disproportionately to the nation’s demographics.

It will make you wonder where you’ve been.

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while, but I’m grateful to have read in light of the BlackLivesMatter movement, the KKK marching in Charlottesville and many other placesand the open This book could not be more timely. I am rounding up my rating because of the importance.


My full post is on my blog at http: As a theologian I need to be able to explain for the sake of myself, jqmes students, and the church why white supremacy is fundamentally anti-Christ. He exposes the rotting corpse of American life, exhibited most keenly in the lynching tree. Despite those differences, I was very excited to read this book and, after finishing it, am very glad that I did.

Cone points out that too often white culture looks at things like lynching and want to shut them away in the past.

In this epilogue he opens up some possibilities to interpreting the cross that I have not quite encountered before. Want to Read saving…. The sacrificial death of Jesus Christ spoke to those suffering under white supremacy.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

James Cone’s work is both tbe and beautiful. Trivia About The Cross and the I have never read anything like this, and I would recommend to white Christians specifically so they can hear a di I have never, ever linked or had the chance to link lynching of Black Americans with the lynching death of Christ.

You know that I worked in an jams of Dallas that has been historically segregated. This is an academic theological text, and is best read if understanding the background of African-American Liberation Theology.

For African Americans, the image of Jesus, hung on a tree to die, powerfully grounded their faith that God was with them, even in the con of the lynching era. I think the main impact of this is deep introspection.