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James H. Cone



James H. Cone, PhD, (1938—2018) was an American theologian, writer, and speaker bringing power to the realities of inequality and racism in America. His work helped give rise to a social movement known as black liberation theology and highlighted the hypocritical inequities specifically within the Christian church.

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James H. Cone

James H. Cone, the Bill and Judith Moyers Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, came to YDS as the culmination of this semester’s All School Read program.

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God of the Oppressed

A landmark in the development of Black Theology and the first effort to present a systematic theology drawing fully on the resources of African-American religion and culture.

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The Spirituals and the Blues

Cone explores two classic aspects of African-American culture--the spirituals and the blues--and tells the captivating story of how slaves and the children of slaves used this music to affirm their essential humanity in the face of oppression.

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Black Theology and Black Power

The classic work of Black Theology—still relevant and challenging after 50 years—with a new introduction by Cornel West First published in 1969, Black Theology and Black Power provided the first systematic presentation of Black Theology, while also introducing the voice of an African American...

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The Cross and the Lynching Tree

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.

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Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare

This groundbreaking and highly acclaimed work examines the two most influential African-American leaders of this century. While Martin Luther King, Jr., saw America as essentially a dream . . . as yet unfulfilled, Malcolm X viewed America as a realized nightmare.

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A Black Theology of Liberation: 50th Anniversary Edition

With the publication of his two early works, Black Theology & Black Power (1969) and A Black Theology of Liberation (1970), James Cone emerged as one of the most creative and provocative theological voices in North America.

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Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian

James H. Cone was widely recognized as the founder of Black Liberation Theology—a synthesis of the Gospel message embodied by Martin Luther King, Jr., and the spirit of Black pride embodied by Malcolm X.

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James Cone: The Cross and the Lynching Tree

Watch leading theologian James Cone give a talk called “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” at Vanderbilt Divinity School April 3, 2013.

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For My People

Looks at the history of Black theology, discusses its relationship to white and liberation theology, and identifies new directions for Black churches to take in the eighties.

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Martin Luther King Jr.