The Passing of Dr. James H. Cone (1938-2018)
Dr. James H. Cone (1938-2018), Father of Black Liberation Theology, who declared that “God was Black” has left this world for another world. I published my first article on James H.Cone, Dutty Boukman, and Black Political & Liberation Theology seven years ago (2011):
“The Rhetoric of Prayer: Dutty Boukman, The Discourse of “Freedom from Below,” and the Politics of God,” Journal of Race, Ethnicity, and Religion 2:9 (June 2011):1-33.
For many of us in the disciplines of (Black) religion, Theological and Biblical Studies, it was James Cone who framed the discourse for us by stressing Black agency and the contribution of Black and non-white scholars in these respective fields of knowledge. As he remarked, “Blackness is the image of God in Black people.” Cone also reminded us that our voice mattered to God and that we must unapologetically denounce cultural sins and oppressions, and to speak in the best interest of our people and the Christian Church—toward holiness, solidarity, human dignity and flourishing and to the glory of God in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.
Dr. James Cone has helped an entire generation to take seriously the Biblical imperative to care for the poor and God’s decisive commitment to justice and the liberation of the oppressed and the vulnerable. In his work, he emphasizes the importance of theological praxis, that is to embody the biblical faith and to live the message of the Gospel.
May the Lord comfort his family!