My second article on James H. Cone is now published and can be accessed for free online:
“James Cone and the Crisis of American Theology,” Missionala Vol 46, No(2) (2019), 197-221
***The article is part of a special issue on the legacy of James H. Cone, which Missionala, a South African Theological Journal, publishes. The editor of the Journal contacted me early last year to contribute this article.
“The objective of this essay is to investigate the public function of Christian theology in the politico-theological writings and hermeneutics of James H. Cone. It is also to articulate a critique of white American theology. In Cone’s work, Christian theology is expressed as a public discourse and testimony of God’s continuing emancipative movements and empowering presence in society with the goal (1) to set the oppressed and the vulnerable free, (2) to readjust the things of the world toward divine justice and peace, and (3) to bring healing and restoration to the places in which volitional (human) agents have inflicted pain, suffering, oppression, and all forms of evil. This essay is an attempt to imagine creatively with new hermeneutical lenses and approaches—anti-imperial, liberative, and postcolonial—the task of Christian theology as public witness to carry out the emancipative agenda and reconciling mission (salvation, healing, hospitality, wholeness, reconciliation, and peace) of God in contemporary societies and in our postcolonial moments. The basic argument of this essay is twofold. First, it contends for the essential role of liberation theology as a public witness in redefining Christian theology in general. Rather than being a “special interest” or merely political theme in theology, it suggests that black liberation theology has a special role to play in “freeing” Christian theology from racism, oppression, and imperialism. Second, by promoting some new understanding of Cone’s work and applying it in some new context, this article is deploying Cone’s public theology to critique or awaken dominant white theology to a new way of thinking about the whole field of theology in the 21st century.”
James H. Cone, Black Liberation Theology, Anti-Black Racism, White American Theology, White American Church