This paper examines race, iconography, and Jesus imagery in the twenty-first century United States. After examining why iconography and Christology have such a strong effect on viewers of religious imagery, I trace the history of racialized Jesus imagery over time. I then examine two recent popular sources that feature Black Jesuses to see how they might influence belief and practice. These popular sources are the Adult Swim tv show Black Jesus and NBC’s live performance of Jesus Christ Superstar with John Legend playing Jesus in April 2018. Finally, I briefly introduce some other alternative Jesus imagery and situate my essay in the larger discussion of how and why art and iconography influence belief and practice, and why it matters.
Religions; Religions -- Philosophy; Religions -- History
Relics, Remnants, and Religion: an Undergraduate Journal in Religious Studies
The University of Puget Sound
"Who Do You Say That I Am?: Race, Iconography, and Jesus in Twenty-First Century America,"
Relics, Remnants, and Religion: An Undergraduate Journal in Religious Studies: Vol. 4
, Article 8.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/relics/vol4/iss1/8