Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Cross, The Lynching Tree, and the Crosshairs: Racial Violence and American Christianity

Rev. Dr. Joanne Marie Terrell
Associate Professor of Theology, Ethics, and the Arts
Chicago Theological Seminary

April 10, 2018
Grawemeyer Award in Religion

(Dr. James Cone's book, The Cross and the Lynching Tree, won the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.  Dr. Cone was unable to present a lecture due to personal reasons.  Dr. Terrell, a former graduate student of Dr. Cone's, spoke in his place.)

Dr. Cone's book contrasts the Christian tradition regarding the Cross of Jesus with the Christian response to lynching.  White Christians murdered over 5000 black men, women, and children during the lynching era, and did not see the parallels between the persecution and murder of Jesus on the cross and the death by lynching on the tree.  Anger over this, and the continuing mistreatment of black and brown peoples, is the only reasonable response for a Christian.  The key is to use the anger to move beyond guilt to doing the work of justice and love.  Listen to the lecture.