"Honoring first-person experiences of depression—including her own—Jessica Coblentz proposes ways of speaking theologically about depression that make space for the meaninglessness that so many depression sufferers know well. She turns to biblical stories of wilderness and the unsettling story of Hagar to offer a theological account of living with depression that takes dislocation and isolation seriously. Even as most of the wilderness stories lack resolution, Coblentz points to ways in which God shows up in those desolate spaces. She also offers a vision for what it means to accompany those who live with depression, including advocating for more access to psychiatric resources and care. A compelling and powerful addition to theological conversations about those who suffer from depression and all of us who love them."
Deanna A. Thompson, Martin E. Marty Regents Chair in Religion and the Academy, St. Olaf College
"This book’s methodological rigor, careful exegesis, and pastoral wisdom drawn from both Scripture and tradition make it an important contribution to literature on faith and depression. Pastors, chaplains, and seminary students will find this book important for finding ways to speak pastorally to those struggling with depression and trying to seek and find God amid the ravages of depression."
The Englewood Review of Books
"Born from Coblentz's own experience, Dust in the Blood is a loving theological accompaniment of all who live with chronic depression. As a systematic theologian, she expresses this love by offering new insight into the classic theological discussion of suffering and by arguing that those with depression deserve better than silencing or moralizing. Any Christian theologian reflecting on what it means to be human should read this book, as should anybody who lives with depression or ministers to people with depression."
Elizabeth Antus, Assistant Professor of the Practice, Boston College
"This is the book I have been waiting for. With insight and sensitivity, Jessica Coblentz offers a theological field guide for ministers and communities hoping to faithfully accompany those stumbling through the 'unhomelike' landscapes of depression. In Dust in the Blood, scripture, systematic theology, and lived experience flow together into a wellspring of resources for those of us with intimate knowledge of the depressive wilderness."
Rev. David Finnegan-Hosey, author of Christ on the Psych Ward and Grace is a Pre-Existing Condition: Faith, Systems, and Mental Healthcare
"This is a remarkable work that integrates psychology in deliberate theological reflection to disclose and probe some of the wrenching spiritual pain and suffering of depression. Jessica Coblentz is rigorous and poignant, resolute and passionate, uncompromising and gracious. This book makes an important contribution to systematic, practical, pastoral, and foundational theologies."
Dr. M. Shawn Copeland, Professor Emerita, Boston College