Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Kevin Williamson

Reader 2

Elizabeth Affuso


As a black woman in America and also a Christian, the intersection of faith and justice is particularly interesting to me because it pertains in so many ways to my personal experience. In a time of such heightened awareness of racial injustice in America and in the world, I feel that this research is critical. The question which I will seek to discover is as follows: Does the Christian Gospel offer a perspective on racial injustice that can lead to legitimate reconciliation and social healing? To discover this, I’m going to study examples of reconciliation in the Christian Gospel, and in Christian movements in our own history, and attempt to tell the story through movement and film. This research project will examine the story of the Samaritan Woman and the Civil Rights Movement. I will examine the Biblical values that each of these historic moments displays, and analyze the effect of them in the communities themselves in regards to racial reconciliation. Each of these examples are known for unique racial unity and community reconciliation, as well as the spread of the Christian Gospel. In the story of the Samaritan woman, through discovering who Jesus is, the son of God and man, she is restored from racial, gender, and emotional abuse. Her encounter with Jesus also leads to the transformation of her entire village as she runs to them and says “come meet the man who told me everything I ever did.” The Civil Rights movement is perhaps one of the most obvious examples of a fight for racial reconciliation through the Christian Gospel and worldview. While most people are well versed in Martin Luthar King Jr.’s speeches and protests against racism culturally, many aren’t aware of the extent of his rootedness in Christianity and the Biblical basis for his teachings.

This thesis will include a two part side by side exploration. The first, a more academic essay examining the history of the Samaritan Woman in the Bible and the Civil Rights Movement and to what extent each can be an example of the effect of the Christian Gospel to reconcile racism in a society. The second will be a movement documentary which will tell the Story of the Samaritan Woman in an abstract way through movement and prose. I hope that the film will add depth and emotional connection to the topics studied in the essay portion of the thesis.

Through both components of this thesis I hope to find that not only is the Christian Gospel a source of comfort and hope to marginalized and hurting people in a racist system, but that the teaching and power of the Gospel itself also has the effect of addressing racism at its root and healing cultures across race, gender, and even generational lines.

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This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.