Hope in the Wilderness: A Conversation with Dr. Jessica Coblentz
Our sincere thanks to Dr. Jessica Coblentz for an insightful and engaging presentation on her new book, Dust in the Blood: A Theology of Life with Depression on March 30, 2022. Dr. Coblentz spoke of how we should conceive of and understand depression, ways of accompanying depression sufferers individually and as a church community, and the concept of depression as a “wilderness experience” that resonates with scriptural resources. She also touched on the importance of the imagination in “holding a place” for people who have suffering in their lives and envisioning new images of hope. Note that the recording began just after our brief introduction, so Dr. Coblentz’s bio is below. We’ve also included links to items of interest discussed during the presentation.
- Dust in the Blood: A Theology of Life with Depression (Liturgical Press, 2022)
- “Doctors face a stigma against seeking mental health care” (Op-ed by Seema Jilani, New York Times, March 30, 2022)
- NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness
- Hagar’s first wilderness experience (Gen. 16:1–16)
- Hagar’s second wilderness experience (Gen 21:1–21)
Jessica Coblentz is an assistant professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, where her research and teaching focuses on Catholic systematic theology, feminist theologies, and mental health in theological perspective. She is a graduate of Santa Clara University and Harvard Divinity School, and received her PhD from Boston College. She was previously a resident scholar at the Collegeville Institute in Collegeville, Minnesota, and has taught at Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California.
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