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A Study of Jesus Christ and his Teachings

Our Christology focused on the revolutionary Black Christ who 'preached good news to the poor'" (Cone xvi citing Luke 4:18).

The problem with stressing Jesus' suffering while not stressing the potentiality of freedom is that it positions Christianity as an oppressor that wants those it oppresses to suffer without resistance. Cone's follows through on the implication of suffering for empowerment and resistance:

While it is true that the cross too often functions to make the oppressed accept their lot as God's will, this is not always the case. . . . Faith in Jesus' cross inspired 50,000 blacks in Montgomery (1955-56) to boycott city buses for 381 days, risking their lives in KKK territory rather than ride in humiliation. . . . There are many ordinary blacks who point to Jesus' suffering as a source of empowerment in their struggle to survive with dignity in a world they did not create (Cone xvii).

Strength in the midst of suffering and struggling for justice is the substance of meaning that Jesus has in the modern period, according to Cone's line of thought. In developing a narrative line of Jesus' biography that is consistent with this meaning, Cone emphasizes the fact that Jesus took on the struggle for justice when he functioned as a revolutionary teacher. The meaning of Jesus' death is that it was part of the pattern of injustice against which he had preached, and the meaning of the Resurrection is that in the his divine aspect he was able to make good "God's promise to bring freedom to all who are weak and helpless" (Cone 97). In this view, the resurrection is God's demonstration that Jesus as the risen Lord has literally overcome the finality of death, where death itself has been an exercise in social injustice. Further, the resurrection, embodied in the figure of Jesus, illustrates the power of the divine to intervene in or to lend meaning to human experience, and by extension to remain a presence in current human experienc...

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A Study of Jesus Christ and his Teachings. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 09:44, December 01, 2015, from
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