Marxism Within Blt Essay

5258 words - 22 pages

Marxism Within Black Theology of Liberation.

This study seeks to expose the ways in which Black Theology of Liberation was shaped by Marxism through the writings of its founders, concentrating predominantly on the need to bring about the liberation of the poor African-Americans from their repressive white racist oppressors by any means necessary, and the redistribution of wealth to those deprived of it by their white capitalist oppressors. The theme of this researched remained embed in my mind during, and after the 2008-09 presidential campaign of former Sen. Barack Obama, when some of his political opponents thought it beneficial to disclose Obama’s connections to a Black Theology ...view middle of the document...

He [Cone] even confessed that he was within inches of leaving the Christian faith, because that faith as he had received it and learned it no longer explained the world to him satisfactorily.[1] Thus, upon drafting a gospel different from the one preached by Christ, Cone explained that “Black theology came from a mixture of King’s Christian gospel of racial justice and black power’s black liberation nationalism” (Hopkins 39) as preached and practiced by Malcolm X. James Cone developed a Black Theology of Liberation because he admired Malcolm X’s example of black nationalist power, but as a person raised as a Christian, his conscience prevented him from following Malcolm X’s footsteps of an aggressive militant stance against segregation; although he would have never crossed that psychological line “out of fear.”[2] Therefore his lifetime masterpiece was the eventual blending of Christianity with Black Power during his time in a Christian theological seminary. Unfortunately, the mentality of many black theologians such as James Cone and a handful of others who support a Black Theology of Liberation have remained stuck throughout time in the 1960s, causing them to believe “that blacks are perpetually victims and that they’ve always been victims of white supremacy and completely ignore all of the evidence that point to progress in the black community,”[3] states Bradley. This is the product of a generation who have felt frustrated due to their inability to change the situation and thus have sought refuge in seminaries and Christian temples in order to shout out their denunciations.
Over the course of an interview on Headline News Network, Anthony Bradley points out that according to Black Theology of Liberation, (1) white racism is the source of sin and all the world’s social, political and financial problems, (2) Black Theology focuses on preaching victimhood and ignores the black community’s progress, and (3) in order to forge a more just world, Marxism is viewed as the acceptable path to reach social justice.[4] Others argue that James Cone, was looking for a theological orientation to explain the aims, ethos, and anger of the 1960s revolution” but one shouldn’t forget that during the peak of the Civil Rights movement, preachers and civic leaders were those doing theology, thus out of this atmosphere emerged a theology which “really tends toward social ethics, not theology proper.[5]
In order to make the Holy Scriptures and the Gospel of Christ relevant to the African-American experience, in his early theological work Cone compares the Israelite Exodus with the African-American struggle for racial equality. He argues that Christ’s ministry was centered at liberating the oppressed of his time. This Black Liberation Theology belief was extracted from two biblical verses, Isaiah 61:1-2 where the prophet Isaiah proclaims the coming of the year of the Lord in which He will proclaim liberty to those spiritually captive, and Luke...

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