Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

12-2019

Department

Communication

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Lauren Lemley

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Jonathan Camp

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Cindy Roper

Abstract

Netflix released Marvel’s Luke Cage in 2016 to critical acclaim. Born from a 1970s comic book, the series features Luke Cage, an African-American superhero. Cage is a big, bald, bulletproof black man. Instead of tights and a cape, Cage wears a hoodie calling the audience to remember Trayvon Martin and other victims of white racism. Theologian James Cone created Black Liberation Theology in the 1970s. As a result of Cone’s work, Black Liberation Theology addresses the issue of white racism from a theological standpoint. In this thesis I present a close reading of Marvel’s Luke Cage using Black Liberation Theology as a theory of communication. Here, I explore three questions. First, how does Marvel’s Luke Cage explore Black Liberation Theology’s distinction between blackness and whiteness? Secondly, how does Coker use Marvel's Luke Cage to define liberation and use that definition as a platform to inform liberation initiatives in the United States today? Finally, how does Marvel’s Luke Cage join Cone in critiquing the church and white theology, and what solutions does Coker present to repair the church and white theology’s relationship with blackness? The answers to these three questions work together to affirm the central argument for this thesis: Marvel’s Luke Cage employs Black Liberation Theology to practically reimagine Christian theology and the Christian church as liberating forces in the modern world.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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