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God of the Oppressed Paperback – November 21, 1997

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God of the Oppressed + A Black Theology of Liberation + The Cross and the Lynching Tree
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; Rev Sub edition (November 21, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570751587
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570751585
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Quite engaging material!
Stephen Newby
A must read for all, This books helps African Americans to understand their history.
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Condition was good and it came in a timely manner.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on March 16, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
James Cone develops a perspective on Black Theology in God of the Oppressed, by looking directly through the lens of Liberation Theology. He formulates an argument against the oppression of the poor by virtue of "divine love or divine power," which is heavily influenced by the Bible. The question of God's presence in the face of racism, oppression, depravity of social and economic power and the perpetual suffering experienced by many blacks throughout the Diaspora is raised. If the Christian God is truly the one who liberated Israel from the Egyptians, if this is the same Jesus who had compassion for the poor and the marginalized in the world, then we need to know why God does not act to eliminate the suffering, especially amongst black people. Some might be willing to deny God's benevolence and God's sovereignty, but Cone declares that to do this would deny an essential element of black faith. "It is a violation of black faith to weaken either divine love or divine power;" therefore, there must be an alternative. This is consistent with a view of God as the Creator who loves and cares for that which God created.

The bible is of primary importance to James Cone's perspective on suffering. He utilizes scripture to reconcile the suffering of the "innocent and weak" with the Bible's claims that God is a liberator of the poor and a protector of the weak. In God's relationship with the Hebrew slaves, we see God's preferential option for the poor being exercised. It is God who tells Moses that he should go to Pharaoh and declare, "Let my people go." It is Israel's story of faithfulness to a faithful God in spite of their oppression that leads to the liberation of the Hebrew slaves. It is God's love for the people of God that serves as the motivation to free Israel.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Robert W. Kellemen on August 31, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The God of the Oppressed" by James H. Cone has been considered a classic in the genre since it's publication over three decades ago in 1975. Obviously, conservative Christians and conservative theologians will disagree with various conclusions in "The God of the Oppressed." However, if one wants to understand the basic tenants of black liberation theology, and one of the "founding fathers" of the movement, then this is the book to read.

Cone, like millions of African American Christians before him, parallels the African American experience of slavery with the Israelite's enslavement in Egypt. For Caucasian Christians, it is vital to understand that America as the Promised Land has been a white experience and perspective, and has not been true for the black experience.

Cone develops a theology of suffering and of social justice from his interpretation of biblical passages on these topics integrated with the black experience in America. Again, while his interpretations can be offensive to conservative readers, being introduced to them is a good place to begin an intelligent dialogue. Cone's personal philosophy and political policies often seem to impact his biblical interpretations, though this is true with all writers and theologians.

For a historical perspective that provides a conservative black expression of the experience of suffering, readers can consider Beyond the Suffering. Beyond the Suffering: Embracing the Legacy of African American Soul Care and Spiritual Direction
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31 of 41 people found the following review helpful By rob on May 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a must read for those who come from a conservative anglo-american background. It helped me to realize the way that my culture has often distorted my understanding of God's work, and it opened my eyes to new ways of viewing God that are challenging but refreshing. As racial reconciliation becomes a larger issue in the church today, this book is important for all laypeople who are serious about reconciling.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
James Hal Cone (born 1938) is the founder of Black Liberation Theology, a Professor of Systematic Theology at Union Theological Seminary, and author of books such as Black Theology and Black Power, A Black Theology of Liberation, Black Theology: A Documentary History, etc.

He wrote in the Preface to this 1975 book, "In the present work, I do not abandon the intellectual search but simply integrate it with the existential and social formation of my faith as it was and is being shaped in the black community. I hope that this approach... will help to join the black theological enterprise more firmly with the true source of its existence---the black community."

He asks, what could Karl Barth possibly mean for black students who had come from the cotton fields, in a society that had defined 'black' as nonbeing? (Pg. 5) He points out that most seminaries fail to recognize that other people have also thought about God and "have something significant to say about Jesus' presence in the world." (Pg. 15)

The two sources of Black Theology are black experience and Scripture. (Pg. 32) He argues that only those whose thinking emerges in the struggle against injustice can see God's freedom breaking into unfree conditions and thus granting power to the powerless "to fight here and now for the freedom they know to be theirs in Jesus' cross and resurrection." (Pg.
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