A landmark in the conversation about race and religion in America. "They put him to death by hanging him on a tree." Acts 10:39 The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful new work, theologian James H. Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of black folk. Both the cross and the lynching tree represent the worst in human beings and at the same time a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning. While the lynching tree symbolized white power and "black death," the cross symbolizes divine power and "black life" God overcoming the power of sin and death. 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 suffering of the lynching era. In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmet Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer and Ida B. Well, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology to explain how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.
the cross and the lynching tree
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In 2006, the contemporary American Pentecostal movement celebrated its 100th birthday. Over that time, its African American sector has been markedly influential, not only vis-a-vis other branches of Pentecostalism but also throughout the Christian church. Black Christians have been integrally involved in every aspect of the Pentecostal movement since its inception and have made significant contributions to its founding as well as the evolution of Pentecostal/charismatic styles of worship, preaching, music, engagement of social issues, and theology. Yet despite its being one of the fastest growing segments of the Black Church, Afro-Pentecostalism has not received the kind of critical attention it deserves. Afro-Pentecostalism brings together fourteen interdisciplinary scholars to examine different facets of the movement, including its early history, issues of gender, relations with other black denominations, intersections with popular culture, and missionary activities, as well as the movementOCOs distinctive theology. Bolstered by editorial introductions to each section, the chapters reflect on the state of the movement, chart its trajectories, discuss pertinent issues, and anticipate future developments. Contributors: Estrelda Y. Alexander, Valerie C. Cooper, David D. Daniels III, Louis B. Gallien, Jr., Clarence E. Hardy III, Dale T. Irvin, Ogbu U. Kalu, Leonard Lovett, Cecil M. Robeck, Jr., Cheryl J. Sanders, Craig Scandrett-Leatherman, William C. Turner, Jr., Frederick L. Ware, and Amos Yong
In the midst of oppression, poverty, violence, and insufficiency where survival takes priority over salvation, what theology speaks to this condition? Black Theology and Holy Hip-hop are important to understand and promote, especially in their relationship to inner-city ministry and spiritual development, primarily in regards to black and brown youth. This work investigates the complex crises experienced among our black and brown youth, with special focus on the inner-city. Black Theology and Holy Hip-hop is less about people and more about institutions--the dichotomy between the institution of the church and the social institution of music that affects young people's mindset. This book will examine how a double-edged sword of Black Theology and Holy Hip-hop will cut a new faith in inner-city ministry that will initiate freedom against personal pain and systemic oppression, on the one hand, and free minds from self-hate and submissive control on the other.
After the 2008 election and 2012 reelection of Barack Obama as US president and the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela as the first of several blacks to serve as South Africa's president, many within the two countries have declared race to be irrelevant. For contributors to this volume, the presumed demise of race may be premature. Given continued racial disparities in income, education, and employment, as well as in perceptions of problems and promise within the two countries, much healing remains unfinished. Nevertheless, despite persistently pronounced disparities between black and white realities, it has become more difficult to articulate racial issues. Some deem "race" an increasingly unnecessary identity in these more self-consciously "post-racial" times. The volume engages post-racial ideas in both their limitations and promise. Contributors look specifically at the extent to which a church's contemporary response to race consciousness and post-racial consciousness enables it to give an accurate public account of race.
THE OTHER JOURNAL: EVIL Description This world is a fallen place rife with suffering, oppression, and violence, a land of tsunamis and earthquakes, genocide and crime sprees. We are surrounded on all sides by brokenness, yet we have difficulty spotting its source. We see the effects of evil, yet we rarely grasp its true nature and breadth. In issue #20 of The Other Journal, our contributors analyze the haunting opacity of evil and call us to name and resist its insidious influence. The issue features essays and reviews by Brian Bantum, Gregory A. Boyd, Andrew W. E. Carlson, Jacob H. Friesenhahn, David Kline, Agustin Maes, Rebecca Martin, Branson Parler, Anthony B. Pinn, Dan Rhodes, and Lauren Wilford; interviews by Allison Backous, Brandy Daniels, Chris Keller, Ronald A. Kuipers, and David Kline with Richard Beck, J. Kameron Carter, Richard Kearney, C. Melissa Snarr, and Christian Wiman; and fiction and poetry by Mark Fleming, Chad Gusler, Jennifer Strange, and Kali Wagner Other Issues of The Other Journal The Other Journal: The Food Issue The Other Journal: The Celebrity Issue Other Books by The Other Journal Sects, Love, and Rock & Roll by Joel Heng Hartse The Spirit of Food edited by Leslie Leyland Fields Jesus Girls edited by Hannah Faith Notess God Is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself edited by Andrew David, Christopher J. Keller, Jon Stanley Remembering the Future edited by Chris Keller, Andrew David
Philadelphia's community muralism movement is transforming the City of Brotherly Love into the Mural Capital of the World. This remarkable groundswell of public art includes some 3,500 wall-sized canvases: On warehouses and on schools, on mosques and in jails, in courthouses and along overpasses. In If These Walls Could Talk, Maureen O'Connell explores the theological and social significance of the movement. She calls attention to some of the most startling and powerful works it has produced and describes the narratives behind them. In doing so, O'Connell illustrates the ways that the arts can help us think about and work through the seemingly inescapable problems of urban poverty and arrive at responses that are both creative and effective. This is a book on American religion. It incorporates ethnography to explore faith communities that have used larger-than-life religious imagery to proclaim in unprecedented public ways their self-understandings, memories of the past, and visions of the future. It also examines the way this art functions in larger public discourse about problems facing every city in America. But If These Walls Could Talk is also theological text. It considers the theological implications of this most democratic expression of public art, mindful of the three components of every mural: the pieces themselves, those who create them, and those who interpret them. It illuminates a kind of beauty that seeks after social change or, in other words, the largely unexplored relationship between theological aesthetics and ethics.
The Gospel According to the Blues dares us to read Jesus's Sermon on the Mount in conversation with Robert Johnson, Son House, and Muddy Waters. It suggests that thinking about the blues--the history, the artists, the songs--provides good stimulation for thinking about the Christian gospel. Both are about a world gone wrong, about injustice, about the human condition, and both are about hope for a better world. In this book, Gary Burnett probes both the gospel and the history of the blues as we find it in the Sermon on the Mount, to help us understand better the nature of the good news which Jesus preached, and its relevance and challenge to us.
Nothing embodies the mystery of faith quite like prayer. Although sometimes an elusive practice that may baffle and confuse, prayer is not otherworldly, for it is in prayer, in talking and listening to our infinite, loving creator, that we truly find our way in this world. In the twenty-first issue of The Other Journal, contributors consider the transformative mystery of prayer in all its questions and practicalities. They carefully think through intercessory prayer and prayerful political theology and what it means to commune with God and one another. They dance, laugh, and pray like fools. The issue features essays and reviews by Emmanuel Katongole, Erin Lane, Timothy McGee, L. Roger Owens, Andrew Prevot, Carl Raschke, and Lauren Smelser White; interviews by Kate Rae Davis, Ashleigh Elser, Jen Grabarczyk, and SueJeanne Koh with Sarah Coakley, Peter Ochs, Dominique Ovalle, and Richard Twiss; and fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry by Mary M. Brown, Kate Rae Davis, Denise Frame Harlan, Katie Manning, Tania Moore, Jillena Rose, Nicholas Samaras, and Robert Vander Lugt.