“Francis of Assisi is reported to have said that the cross is a book. When we open that book in love and in intelligence, we encounter traces of the crucified Jewish Jesus in human social suffering in our world.”
Knowing Christ Crucified is a powerful reading of the Cross of Jesus, both as it is written in scripture and in the experience of the poor and oppressed—particularly in the history of black people in America, from the time of slavery up to the present.
Beginning with the “dark wisdom of the slaves,” Shawn Copeland shows how enslaved people found in the story of Jesus both an affirmation of their humanity and a repudiation of a system that held them in bondage. She goes on to explore some of the challenges to human living in a world shaped and directed by white supremacy. And finally, she presses the meaning of solidarity in the concrete circumstances of American life.
These challenging essays reflect her efforts to read the book of the cross, and to grapple with what it might mean “to take up the cross daily and follow Jesus” with those crucified in our time.
Shawn Copeland is a professor of theology at Boston College. A former President of the Catholic Theological Society of America, she is also a recipient of the Society’s highest honor, the John Courtney Murray Award. Her books include Enfleshing Freedom: Body, Race, and Being (Fortress), and (with LaReine-Marie Mosely and Albert Raboteau) Uncommon Faithfulness: The Black Catholic Experience (Orbis 2009).