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Book Club: Bipolar Faith

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“She is a groundbreaking scholar who synthesizes the academy with the church and the world.” — REV. NIKIA S. ROBERT

Bipolar Faith: A Black Woman's Journey with Depression and Faith

by Monica A. Coleman

(Fortress Press, 2016)

Bipolar Faith is both a spiritual autobiography and a memoir of mental illness. In this powerful book, Monica Coleman shares her life-long dance with trauma, depression, and the threat of death. Citing serendipitous encounters with black intellectuals like Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Angela Davis, and Renita Weems, Coleman offers a rare account of how the modulated highs of bipolar II can lead to professional success, while hiding a depression that even her doctors rarely believed. Only as she was able to face her illness was she able to live faithfully with bipolar. And in the process, she discovered a new and liberating vision of God.

(from the Fortress Press webpage)

 

 

Listen to a Recording of the Discussion:

(Recorded 8/8/17)

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/
recording/1059508480795738631

Discussion Participants:

Dr. Monica A. Coleman
Rev. Dr. Marie Fortune

 

About Monica Coleman:
Monica A. Coleman is Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology in southern California. There she also serves as a Co-Director the Center for Process Studies and Director of Process and Faith.  Coleman has earned degrees from Harvard University, Vanderbilt University and Claremont Graduate University. She has received funding from leading foundations in the United States, including the Ford Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship Foundation, among others.

Answering her call to ministry at 19 years of age, Coleman is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church. She brings her experiences in evangelical Christianity, black church traditions, global ecumenical work, and indigenous spirituality to her discussions of theology and religion.

Coleman is the author or editor of six books, and several articles and book chapters that focus on the role of faith in addressing critical social and philosophical issues. Her memoir Bipolar Faith shares her life-long dance with trauma and depression, and how she discovers a new and liberating vision of God. Her book Making a Way Out of No Way is required reading at leading theological schools around the country, and listed on the popular #BlackWomenSyllabus and #LemonadeSyllabus recommended reading projects.

Coleman’s strength comes from the depth of her knowledge base and from her experiences as a community organizer, survivor of sexual violence and as an individual who lives with a mental health challenges. Coleman often teaches Bible study in her local church, and speaks widely on religion and sexuality, religious pluralism, churches & social media, mental health, and sexual and domestic violence. Coleman is based in Los Angeles, and lives in an intergenerational household where she is an avid vegan cook and cyclist. (From her website: http://monicaacoleman.com)

More Information and Additional Resources:

Monica Coleman's Webpage & Blog:
http://monicaacoleman.com/

Monica Coleman's Interview with Religion Dispatches on Bipolar Faith: http://religiondispatches.org/bipolar-faith-an-autobiography-of-race-and-mental-illness/

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