James H. Cone has been elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a distinguished author, minister, and the founder of Black Liberation Theology — a Christian theology that centers African – American experiences, culture, and history.
He is the author of over 150 articles and 12 books including A Black Theology of Liberation — first published in 1970 and the basis of Black Liberation Theology — and The Cross and the Lynching Tree which talks about the similarities between Jesus’ death on the cross and the lynching of innocent black people in the U.S.
According to Religion New Service:
This year Dr. Cone received the 2018 Grawemeyer Award for Religion from Louisville Presbyterian Seminary for the The Cross and the Lynching Tree which “passionately conjoins the provocative images of the first century cross and the twentieth-century lynching tree.” As he writes, “Both are symbols of the death of the innocent, mob hysteria, humiliation, and terror. They both also reveal a thirst for life that refuses to let the worst determine our final meaning and demonstrate that God can transform ugliness into beauty, into God’s liberating presence.” His theological memoir, Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody, will be published this October by Orbis.
This year’s 177 fellows include Sonia Sotomayor, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Tom Hanks, and Barack Obama. Cone was one of 10 inductees into the Philosophy and Religious Studies category.