Saturday, 17 November 2012

Christian Reflection on Disability

The latest issue of Christian Reflection, published by the Center for Christian Ethics at Baylor University, is now available, this one devoted to ‘Disability’. The whole issue is available as a pdf here, and an accompanying Study Guide is available here. The main articles, with their abstracts, are as follows:

Robert B. Kruschwitz
Disability is ‘tragically but redemptively fundamental’ to discipleship, Tom Reynolds notes, for it ‘opens up our vulnerability and dependence upon each other and God.’ How can we walk beside one another in friendship and learn from one another with our disabilities?

Amos Yong
Zacchaeus: Short and Un-Seen
Societal fears of disability often warp how we read the Bible. But the Zacchaeus story challenges the normate assumption that disability is a problem needing to be fixed or eliminated. All human beings can be accepted as children of Abraham regardless of their physical characteristics or capabilities.

John Swinton
Many Bodies, Many Worlds
Disability is a mode of human experience that challenges our norms and reshapes our most basic understanding of reality as we encounter the rich diversity of what it means to be a human being in God’s image.

Thomas E. Reynolds
The Cult of Normalcy
Against the cult of normalcy, disability foregrounds vulnerability as a fundamental condition of sharing life together. It reminds us that wholeness is not self-sufficiency, but is the genuine communion that results from sharing our vulnerable humanity with one another in light of God’s grace.

S. Kay Toombs
Jars of Clay: Disability in Intentional Christian Community
Living in an intentional Christian community offers a nurturing context in which it is possible to fully embrace the vulnerability that accompanies disability, to concretely enact our Christian beliefs with respect to the intrinsic worth of all human beings, and to affirm the value of all members of the community.

Terry W. York
The Twisted Form upon the Tree

Debra Dean Murphy
Worship Service

Heidi J. Hornik
Disability in Christian Art

Jason D. Whitt
Baptism and Profound Intellectual Disability
Is there room in the baptismal waters and at the Lord’s Supper table for persons with profound intellectual disability? For Christians who practice believers’ baptism, the question goes to the heart of what it means to be the Church and to welcome the giftedness of each person in our midst.

Brian Brock
The Lure of Eugenics
In contemporary society ‘prenatal care’ and ‘prenatal screening’ are taken to be synonyms, but they become antonyms in practice when the refusal to test is portrayed as unnecessarily risky and aborting a disabled child is portrayed as a relief.

Thomas H. Graves
Affirming God in the Midst of Disability
An encounter with personal disability brought Tom Graves to a perplexing impasse. As a philosopher of religion, how could he talk of God in words that were both true to his faith and honest with his disabled condition?

Heiki Peckruhn
Travelling in the Ark
With whom are we being human together? With whom are we living together into our potentialities? These questions of community and humanity, central to the L’Arche communities, are explored in four books reviewed here.

Jackie Mills-Fernald
Lowering Barriers for People with Disabilities
If the Church is a place where all are welcome regardless of ability, why is the disability population so poorly represented in our congregations? The resources reviewed here can help us lower the barriers that prevent people with disabilities from participating fully in the body of Christ.

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