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Alumnae Stories

Meredith Coleman Tobias Educates Another Generation of Religious Studies Majors

January 2021

Meredith Coleman-Tobias, is an assistant professor of religion at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts. Her research interests consider Caribbean and North American iterations of African Atlantic religious migrations. She brings to her research a background in community theater, and interrogations of performance, place-making, and knowledge reproduction significantly inform her understanding of religious communities.

Her current research project focuses on Sobonfu Somé, a recently-deceased Burkinabé spiritual teacher and leader based in Sacramento, California. Investigating Somé’s ritual work and ‘mission’ in Western countries over the last two decades, she examines African and non-African descendants’ intentional practice of Dagara spirituality in North America as a lens through which to understand historical and contemporary Africana religious formations. She is writing a comprehensive, spirituo-biographic manuscript documenting Somé’s life and work.

Coleman-Tobias earned her B.A. from Spelman College in 2006, M.Div. from Yale Divinity School in 2009, and Ph.D. from Emory University in 2017.