Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Book Review: The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone

I don't actually enjoy much theology. Only about 10% of it has the "snap" that makes it worth it, but when it has that "snap" it's the most important reading in the world. Cone has that "snap." His writing is also elegant and trimmed to make its point and move on. This book shows a parallel that few white people see (although Girard saw it and he is duly cited here). Then it critiques a prominent theologian (Niebuhr), shows how this worked in the lived-out history of another prominent theologian (MLK), found it in the arts, and found it in the words of women. This is not just a crucial piece of theology that needs to be understood, it is an expansive example of how to include all voices and all fields in your argument. The most important book I've read this year.

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