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 was edified, convicted, and challenged by this book.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

Feb 24, Kelcie rated it it was amazing. For Cone, the thing that the folks have been singing, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord” “Strange Fruit” and the poetry–such as Countee Cullen’s “The South is crucifying Christ again,” offers something to theology–a corrective–a revisioning of the cross’s centrality to the gospel.

Lynching is an atrocity that needs to be remembered. The pictures included famous artistic renderings of the crucifixion but also many jwmes ones. Feb 21, Elizabeth Gaucher rated it it was amazing. It is at once a stunning and a damning book. Both were public spectacles, shameful events, instruments of punishment reserved for the most despised people of society.

The Cross and the Lynching Tree

I also hung some critical modern poems. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Not much, but I was confident about hhe American liberty. 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 encounter his work and to whom he is so solicitous in the accessible voice presented by the book.

It prompted highly emotional and intellectual responses. Critique aside, Lynchihg originality and sharp tone warrant applause. I know that generally these lynchings do not occur as major public spectacles and are definitely against the law, qualities which make them different. Nov 24, Ben De Bono rated it really liked it.

Lynching was a public spectacle where people took pictures and made postcards out of them.


My full post is on my blog at http: This is important for us to read and consider. Fascinating and hard read.

May 02, Chris rated it really liked it. This is liberation theology and theological reflection at its finest. The central premise is that black religious experience is shaped by suffering Some things are so important that to miss them is to miss everything. This was a new concept to me while I read and if you’re new to the works of James H.

Nov 27, Randall Wallace rated it it was amazing. 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 ajd spiritual, “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?

In when I was organizing the Good Friday service at Cathedral of Hope, I drew on jamees bulletin board tre instead of the normal Tenebrae readings, read from these selected poems, including “Strange Fruit” and “American Triangle. At times I wanted to repent for being white. Cone shows us this truth in spades. Apr 10, Ruth rated it it was tge.

The book began with an eye opening insight into the public humiliation and shame of crucifixion. The President successfully kept Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony from gaining a national audience.

Wells articulated it powerfully.

That alone provokes me to look at the works of black artists in a whole new way. I do think that the critique of Williams and others deserved a more developed response, however. However it may also apply to tolerating these sins and failing to stand up to those who promote injustice. Like my dad, I thought Goldwater a prophet and Martin Luther King a communist, a man who stirred up all kinds of social discord–even violence–throughout the nation.

This critique seems less useful than the idea that he wants to support with the critique, that white American Christians could be really helped by a look at the cross and the lynching tree now.

It is heart-wrenching to read about the heinous acts of terror committed in the name of white supremacy, the unjust killings of black men and women. Cone begins his book with a damning theological observation which he seeks to correct and address in this book: To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. Feb 26, Emily rated it it was amazing Shelves: Ultimately, Christians should be able to accept the harsh reality of this critique because by embracing the cross, we embrace forgiveness and by believing in the resurrection, we have power to change.


How could any theologian explain the meaning of Christian identity in America and fail to engage white supremacy,its primary negation. I think the main impact of this is deep introspection. Understanding that the most oppressed among us are actually “the crucified people in our midst” changes everything.

Which is all the more reason I was surprised by his silence on queer lynchings. In The Cross and the Lynching Tree Cone argues that the lynching tree and essentially the suffering of the “least of these” anywhere and the cross are mirrors that help to the explain one another.

Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and so A landmark in the conversation about race and religion in America. The mistake Cone makes is in his conclusions. The major and, in my view, correct theologically foundational insight here, is that the wellsprings of this theological knowledge are poetry and people, the music and the folks.

Along the way he deliberately rejects much of the western theological tradition, again crozs many problems. I offer lyjching reflections because I believe that the cross placed alongside the lynching tree can help us to see Jesus in America in a new light, and thereby empower people who claim to follow him to take a stand against white supremacy and every kind of injustice. Either croes, it will change you for the better.

I remember watching the speech on our old black-and-white Zenith, maybe my first real interest in politics on a national scale. There is no mincing of words, yet the words are somehow full of forgiveness.