Dr. Jessica Coblentz | 2023 Louis G. Vance Lecture of Systematic Theology

Oblate School of Theology

Originally Published on OST.EDU

Thursday, October 12


Oblate School of Theology

Date and time

Thursday, October 12 · 7 – 8:30pm CDT



About this event

  • 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Mobile eTicket

Dr. Jessica Coblentz | Our Lady of Sorrows? Considering Mary of Nazareth as a Model for Women Living with Depression

2023 Louis G. Vance Lecture of Systematic Theology

In popular devotion and magisterial teaching, Saint Mary of Nazareth, the mother of Jesus, is often uplifted as the Catholic ideal of womanhood. For the millions of American women who suffer with depression each year, the persistent sorrow of this rarified woman could position her as an affirming and inspiring role model, especially in communities that otherwise valorize women’s happiness (through tropes like the “happy housewife”) and women’s emotional fortitude (with stereotypes like the “Strong Black Woman”). However, the testimonies of depressed women and the insights of feminist psychology complicate considerations of Mary as an anthropological ideal. With the aim of supporting women’s spiritual and psychological wellbeing, this lecture will explore both the liberative potential and possible limits of embracing Mary as a melancholic model of the Christian life.


Dr. Jessica Coblentz is an associate professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana and a 2023–2025 visiting scholar at the Center of Theological Inquiry. She is the author of Dust in the Blood: A Theology of Life with Depression (Liturgical Academic), and the co-editor of The Human in a Dehumanizing World: Reexamining Theological Anthropology and Its Implications (Orbis). Her research in Catholic systematic theology, feminist theologies, and mental health in theological perspective has appeared in several edited volumes and academic journals, including the Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion, which recognized Coblentz as the first-place winner of the 2022 Elisabeth Schüssler Fiorenza New Scholars Award. Her writing can also be found in popular venues such the National Catholic Reporter, U.S. Catholic, America, and Give Us This Day, where she is a regular contributor. Before working as a theologian, Coblentz served for several years in Roman Catholic national and diocesan religious education, parish young adult ministry, and college campus ministry. She earned her PhD in systematic theology from Boston College.

This event will be recorded and will be available for viewing afterward on the Oblate School of Theology YouTube Channel.

In-person participants are encouraged to bring a light jacket or shawl, a writing pad and pen, and a reusable water bottle and/or coffee mug.

For information or to register by phone, contact Associate Registrar, Victoria Rodriguez, at vrodriguez@ost.edu or (210) 341-1366 EXT 240.