Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Second Department

Religious Studies

Reader 1

Gaston Espinosa

Reader 2

Lance Neckar

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Terms of Use for work posted in Scholarship@Claremont.

Rights Information

Quincy A Brown


In Is Spirituality an Intelligence? Motivation, Cognition, and the concern of Psychology of Ultimate Concern, Robert Emmons develops a case for spirituality as a form of intelligence. His thesis claims that spiritual intelligence is a “set of capacities and abilities that enable people to solve problems and attain goals in their everyday lives”: “the capacity for transcendence; the ability to enter into heightened spiritual states of consciousness; the ability to invest everyday activities, events, and relationships with a sense of the sacred; the ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems in living; and the capacity to engage in virtuous behavior. I use spiritual intelligence and these frameworks throughout to address these common themes within the Black community beginning in the Second Great Awakening.

I use these five components to illuminate the rise of the revolutionary streams of Spiritual Intelligence within unique works of two Black activists: David Walker and Maria Stewart. I then contextualize these developments in the experiences of my family and my own experiences as a Black activist. I argue for the recognition of religious thinking and illustrate the structural embodiment of this form of spiritual intelligence through multiple generations of Black Activism. I argue that Spiritual Intelligence is one way this particular community fights adversity in greater America society. In valuing religion through understanding these actions of resistance black activism is realized in the larger epistemic landscape. Particularly arguing against the secularization of resistance and activism.