black theology, Dwight Hopkins, interview, James Cone

Cone on NPR

Prof. James Cone gave an interview that was aired on NPR’s Fresh Air. You can listen to it npronline here (about 13 minutes). The podcast is available here. Dwight Hopkins is in a follow up interview here (about 28 minutes).

If one wants to see more of Cone, check out his interview on Bill Moyer’s Journal (about 40 minutes).

Now, perhaps a fair, popular discussion can happen, or is that asking too much?

Edit: Apparently Prof. Cone gave NPR an hour and a half interview. From that time, NPR aired 13 minutes. I guess everyone fails sometime? I just wish it wasn’t on this.


4 thoughts on “Cone on NPR

  1. David,

    Thanks for the links. I just listened to the NPR interview. Very insightful. My only critique I have is with ‘academic’ black liberation theology is the its lack of a “cosmic idiom”,to borrow from David Bentley Hart, of its reading of the Bible. I know it’s primary task is to liberation people from sociological oppression like poverty and societal marginalization. But these are included under the cosmic system of oppression that humanity in general experiences.

    This is a tension in the Biblical Narrative between the here and now and the yet to come that is lacking in black liberation theology. It’s on the opposite end of the spectrum from the pie-in-the-sky theology that is characteristic in some theological conservative churches.

    All theology is contextual, I agree. But black liberation theology seems to not consider the early Church’s response to the Gospel . Jesus’ Gospel is not of this world. It cannot be ushered in through violence. He rebuked his disciples for such a consideration.

    The Coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost was the empowerment of the poor and the socially oppressed within both the Greco-Roman and Jewish cultures. The liberation of Israel from slavery in Egypt foreshadows the liberation of all peoples from the bondage of sin under the cosmic oppression of the one whom Jesus called Satan.

    I don’t understand why many black theologians don’t point out factors of the covenant between God and Israel in Israel’s oppression and neglect of the poor. God defended the poor and the afflicted was the pursuing of the justice laid out in the law. Well I guess they do when black theologians say ‘Love thy neighbor’.

    Sorry for the long rant. I guess if Cone leans too far to the ‘left’ the ones on the ‘right’ can say with overconfidence that he and his predecessors preach ‘another gospel’ when not considering that they too preach ‘another gospel’ if they fail to address systemic evil. Ultimately what I’m calling for is balance.

    Peace and blessings!

  2. I do agree with you somewhat, and this is the fault of using R. Niebuhr as well, whom Cone likes to use. Niebuhr didn’t like kingdom theology, even from the lips of Pannenburg. Some have argued that, given the chance and a longer life, Niebuhr might’ve been more agreeable with the kingdom/hope theology coming out of Germany, than the social Gospel Niebuhr denounced. Still, Niebuhr said no. This is part of my critique of Niebuhr, Cone, and perhaps orthopraxy in general.

    Then again, orthodoxy has its problems as well, but thats for another time.

    Having said all that, I think you would really like J. Kameron Carter’s book when it comes out. Last I heard somewhere, it’ll be out this September.

  3. This is really interesting. Thanks for the links. I’m an undergraduate at a Jesuit liberal arts college, taking a class on North American Liberation Theology and we read God of the Oppressed at the beginning of the semester. It’s really interesting to see this being talked about now, as I’m trying to wrap my mind about these ideas…

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