WINONA, Minn. — Saint Mary’s University faculty and students will discuss James Cone’s The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis, 2013) from 7-8 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22. The event will take place in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall.

This book is already regarded as the swan song of one of the most influential theologians in America. The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful work, Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of the black community.

In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues; the passion and of Emmett Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King, Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Ida B. Wells, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. And he remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology: how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.

As Cone’s work takes a multidisciplinary approach, a multidisciplinary panel of Saint Mary’s faculty members will address on the text and its insights. Panelists will include Erin Mae Clark, English; Tycho de Boer, history; Wes Miller, sociology; and Susan Windley-Daoust, theology. A student discussion will follow.

The public is welcome, regardless of whether or not you have read the book, which is available at the Saint Mary’s campus bookstore and is on reserve at Saint Mary’s Fitzgerald Library.

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