The Cross and the Lynching Tree

  • Type: Audiobooks
  • By: James Cone
  • Age Category: Adults
  • Genre: Non-Fiction
  • Recommended by: Eric S.
  • ISBN/UPC: 9781665126137
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A thought-provoking look at the historic connection between Christianity and racial violence

This book takes a critical look at mainstream Christianity and its complicity in racial injustice throughout American History. Through the lens of Christianity’s most important symbol, the cross, it specifically reflects on the brutal racial violence that took place during the Jim Crow period of our history in which over four thousand African Americans, mostly men, were lynched. Theologian James Cone reminds readers that in the first century Roman Empire, crucifixion, an excruciating form of torture and execution, was used to terrorize and subjugate, undesirable populations under their rule. Paradoxically, he poses the following question. How could a society that claims to be influenced by the belief system spawned from the example of the life and death of an innocent victim of such a gruesome device, several centuries later unleash a similar campaign of terror among its own citizens? The crux of his argument is that if we are to move forward as a nation and get beyond racial injustice and disparity, we must come to terms with our difficult past and not sweep it under the rug. And part of this includes embracing the ironic comparison between the symbolism of Christ’s cross and the lynching tree of the Jim Crow Era.