Octavia Tried to Tell Us: Parable for Today’s Pandemic by Monica Coleman

In national quarantine and sheltering-in-place or is it “safer-at-home,” all I could think about was that we were living in a scene from the late Afrofuturist writer Octavia Butler’s book Parable of the Sower. So I texted my friend, Afrofuturist writer Tananarive Due and said: hey let’s do a webinar on this.  And this turned into weekly – then monthly – free webinars on the wisdom we can glean from Octavia Butler as we live through these political days.

Here, I share a recent workshop and dialogue that lifts up Octavia’s Parable of the Sower and highlights themes of prophecy, dystopia, theology and a way forward in times like these.

If you are interested in engaging more intimate work centered on Octavia’s work, visit OctaviaWebinar.com for more information.



Dr. Monica A. Coleman is Professor of Africana Studies at the University of Delaware.  She spent over ten years in graduate theological education at Claremont School of Theology, the Center for Process Studies and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. 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 minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and an initiate in traditional Yoruba religion.

Dr. Coleman offers workshops, lectures and books for your organization, university or church. She warmly connects with people as she shares principles for growth and liberation. Read her story here.

Author: Monica A Coleman

Associate Professor of Constructive Theology and African American Religions at Claremont School of Theology

2 thoughts on “Octavia Tried to Tell Us: Parable for Today’s Pandemic by Monica Coleman”

  1. I first came across Octavia Butler when I put together a class about feminist proposals for the future. While I haven’t been able to incorporate entire books into my class, I’ve really enjoyed using her short story, “The Book of Martha.” It brings up great questions and generates amazing discussions about human nature and goodness. More people should read her work, and when I teach this class again in the fall, I’ll point my students to this online material for more about her. Thanks for the post and the webinars.


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