message that is not related to the liberation of the poor in a
society is not Christ's message. Any theology that is indifferent to
the theme of liberation is not Christian theology."
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. These books, which
offered a searing indictment of white theology and society,
introduced a radical reappraisal of the Christian message for our
Combining the visions of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.,
Cone offered a fundamental reappraisal of Christianity from the
perspective of the oppressed black community in North America. Fifty
years later, in the era of Black Lives Matter, his work remains as
timely and powerful as ever.
James H. Cone (1938-2018) was the Bill and Judith Moyers
Distinguished Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological
Seminary. His many books include God of the Oppressed, Martin &
Malcolm & America, and The Cross and the Lynching Tree,
which received the 2018 Grawemeyer Award in Religion.