The civil rights movement has been described as a religious movement just as much as a social movement. Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership was rooted in personalist theory and his belief of the beloved community with human dignity for all. So, what happened next? This service explores the significant next movement of theologian James Cone’s work to develop a black theology of liberation as part of his response to King’s death. Black theology addresses the scandal of particularity, the maldistribution of ethnic suffering in the black experience in America. This service will include a summary of black liberation theology and the profound claim made by Cone that God is black as well as his powerful interpretation that Christian theology affirms God is with and for the oppressed and against the oppressor. We will conclude with how black theology asks religious communities in America to critically reflect on the centrality of racism and social action in their vocation.
Stacy Craig is a student at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities where she is pursuing a Master of Divinity degree. She takes seriously the challenge from her professor that more white pastors and theologians must engage black theology in their work. In 2018, she interned with St. John’s United Church of Christ and Spiritual Life Center on Madeline Island and, previous to that, she was the Co-Director of Religious Education for the Chequamegon Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. Currently she works as the Coordinator of Applied Learning at Northland College and makes time to regain balance by fly fishing once in a while.