Spirituality and Freedom: August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean


Psychological research on happiness supports the importance of spirituality and religion as tools to reduce burnout. Using an anthology of African-American music and August Wilson’s play, Gem of the Ocean, we will explore “religion” and “spirituality” across time and situations. Our overview will include the Old Gods of Africans in their homelands; “hidden religions” of chattel slavery; The Church in modern communities of color; and The One, the 7th Kingdom, technology as the new god.

ABOUT THE PRESENTER: Dr. Bryant is a community psychologist, which means asking, What can be done to empower individuals in traumatizing situations to take charge of their lives? She is the Director of the Social Action Project (SOCACT), an arts-based action research project operating in South Bend, IN and Durban, South Africa. She is a psychology professor at Indiana University South Bend, teaching courses in social justice, civil rights, universal human rights, and world religions.

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