Welcome to this week’s ALL TOGETHER, the podcast dedicated to exploring how ethics religion and spiritual practice inform our personal lives, our communities and our world. ALL TOGETHER is hosted by Paul Raushenbush, the executive editor of HuffPost Religion. You can download All Together on iTunes, or Stitcher.
All Americans know that Martin Luther King, Jr was one of the main voices within the Civil Rights movement. But he was also a prophetic preacher and pastor. Some of King's most powerful writing were aimed at the Christian Church, whom he took to task for failing to live out Jesus’ radical call for justice and love for all people in this world, including African Americans.
Dr King was assassinated in 1968 In the moths following his death a young pastor and theologian by the name of James Cone sat down and wrote the groundbreaking book Black Liberation, Black Power published in 1969. He followed up quickly with the book Black Theology of Liberation in 1970.
“Black theology emerged because I wanted to reconcile Malcolm and Martin, reconcile Blackness and Christianity.” Dr. James Cone
The Rev. Dr. James Cone is know as the father of Black Liberation Theology for his articulation of the Black Jesus, who stands as reminder that God stands with all those who are marginalized and oppressed in any generation.
"God is a God that makes liberation meaningful to those who are marginalized no matter where they are. God takes on that identity of the oppressed" - Dr. James Cone
This year America observes Martin Luther King Day in the Shadow of the killings of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and many others who offer a stark reminder that King’s dream of equality and inclusion is still, just a dream that sometimes seems to be receding rather than growing near.
"The #BlackLivesMatter movement reminds me of the civil rights and black power movement of the 1960’s. It’s the closest thing to the movement that gave rise to Black Liberation Theology." - Dr. James Cone
In an effort to ignite the prophetic, radical, loving spirit of King for this day, Raushenbush turned to none other than the Rev. Dr. James Cone who called from Union Theological Seminary where he is the Charles A. Briggs Chair in systematic theology.
"The gospel at its best deals with the whole man, not only his soul but his body, not only his spiritual well-being, but his material well being. Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
Be sure to join Raushenbush for next week’s ALL TOGETHER podcast which will feature a conversation with the Host of On Being, Krista Tippett.