Reflections on “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”

"While you are proclaiming peace with your lips, be careful to have it even more fully in your heart." - St. Francis of Assisi

Yesterday, I finished reading The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone. Cone is the Charles A. Briggs Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He was born and raised in rural Arkansas in the 1930s and ’40s. He grew up during some of the most contentious times in American history, with the effects of the Great Depression lingering, war on the horizon, and the sin of white supremacy reigning in the United States. He brings that background and understanding into full view in his newest book. This book impacted me greatly and cut me deeply. The legacy of white supremacy and racism in this country is deep, long-standing, and undeniable. Cone’s style and wording have the capability of shocking the bystander into advocacy, which is the best reaction one could have to reading and wrestling with this text.

Cone does well equating…

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