Saint Mary’s to host discussion about ‘The Cross and the Lynching Tree’


A Saint Mary’s University faculty and student discussion on James Cone’s “The Cross and the Lynching Tree” (Orbis, 2013) has been rescheduled for Monday, February 12, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. in Salvi Lecture Hall, located on the third floor of Saint Mary’s Hall. This event was originally scheduled for late January but was rescheduled due to weather conditions.

This book is already regarded as the swan song of one of the most influential theologians in America. The cross and the lynching tree are the two most emotionally charged symbols in the history of the African American community. In this powerful work, Cone explores these symbols and their interconnection in the history and souls of the black community.

In a work that spans social history, theology, and cultural studies, Cone explores the message of the spirituals and the power of the blues, the passion of Emmett Till and the engaged vision of Martin Luther King Jr.; he invokes the spirits of Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Ida B. Wells, and the witness of black artists, writers, preachers, and fighters for justice. He also remembers the victims, especially the 5,000 who perished during the lynching period. Through their witness he contemplates the greatest challenge of any Christian theology: how life can be made meaningful in the face of death and injustice.

As Cone’s work takes a multidisciplinary approach, a multidisciplinary panel of Saint Mary’s faculty members will address on the text and its insights. Panelists will include Erin Mae Clark, English; Tycho de Boer, history; Wes Miller, sociology; and Susan Windley-Daoust, theology. A student discussion will follow.

The public is welcome, regardless of whether or not you have read the book, which is available at the Saint Mary’s campus bookstore and is on reserve at Saint Mary’s Fitzgerald Library.

About Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota
Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota awakens, nurtures, and empowers learners to ethical lives of leadership and service. At Saint Mary’s, students find in every classroom — whether in person or online — a relationship-driven, person-centered education. Through intense inquiry, students discover the truths in the world and the character within. Founded in 1912 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota enrolls 5,700 students at its residential undergraduate college in Winona and its schools of graduate and professional programs, based in Minneapolis but extending worldwide. Saint Mary’s offers respected and affordable programs in a variety of areas leading to bachelor's, bachelor's completion, master's, certificate, specialist, and doctoral degrees. Learn more at


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