The Christian gospel compels humanity to embrace deeper ways of being human together that will overcome false divisions and exclusions in search of flourishing and graced communities. Presenting both short narratives emerging out of theological reflection on experience and analytical essays arising from engagement in scholarly conversations Theology and the Experience of Disability is a conscious attempt to develop theology by and with people with disabilities instead of theology about people with disabilities.
A mixture of academic, professional, practical, and/or lived experience is brought to the topic in search of constructive multi-disciplinary proposals for church and society. The result is an interdisciplinary engagement with the constructive possibilities that emerge from a distinctly Christian understanding of disability as lived experience.
"This is a profoundly moving and important collection. Whilst many works on the interface of Theology and Disability have tended to ‘talk over’ rather than ‘talk with’ those with disabilities, here the voices of experience take centre stage. The diverse styles and mediums the authors adopt in their contributions signal aspects of the various ‘lived experiences’ they seek to represent. These voices from ‘down under’ are salutary correctives to those ‘up above’ in geographical, social, structural, ecclesial, and ableist terms." – Louise Lawrence, University of Exeter, UK
"An impressive collection of essays not only ‘on’ disability but by the disabled. This is a book that takes head-on the challenge those with disabilities represent for the practices of the Church and our theological convictions." – Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University, USA
Introduction: Theology and Disability ‘Down Under’Andrew Picard and Myk Habets Part II: Theology, Disability and Being 1. Disability and the Theology of 4D Personhood Sue Patterson 2. The World of Cystic Fibrosis: From Diagnosis to Dignity D. Gareth Jones 3. Parenting a Child with Autism, and the Father-Heart of God Ian Waddington 4. Disability Discrimination in the Book of Job Kirk Patston 5. No Longer Strangers: Disabled Ontology and the Church as Meaningful Community in Liquid Modernity Andrew Picard 6. Conversations with James on Leadership: What can we Learn about Leadership and Personhood from People with Severe Cognitive Disability? Charles Hewlett 7. ‘He’s My Mate’: Cerebral Palsy, Church, and the Gift of Friendship Manuele Teofilo Part III: Theology, Disability, and Belonging 8. The Silence Surrounding Psych-Wards Christine Welten 9. Disability in the Australian Church: Results from the 2011 Church Life Survey Jason Forbes and Lindsey Gale 10. The Deaf as Mission Field: ‘Seeing is Believing’ Celia King 11. Banqueting and Disability in the Ancient World: Reconsidering the Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:15-24) Louise Gosbell 12. Mephibosheth at the Table: A High Point in Davidic Kingship 2 Samuel 9:1-13 Rod Thompson 13. Welcoming and Including People with Intellectual Disability: A Study of Five Churches Carol Fearon 14. From Inclusion to Belonging: Why ‘Disabled’ Bodies are Necessary for the Faithfulness of the Church John Swinton Part IV: Theology, Disability, and Becoming 15. Unseen Disability in the Australian Pentecostal Church: Australian Christian Churches, The Four-fold Gospel, and Challenges for the Mentally Ill Greta EC Wells 16. Beyond Charity: What does a High Value of Disabled People in Society Look like? Evan Clulee 17. Disability and Divinization: Eschatological Parables and Allegations Myk Habets 18. Hope in the Mountain Manifesto: The Beatitude’s Alternative to the Social Model`s Hope Immanuel Koks 19. Disability and the Renewal of Theological Education: Beyond Ableism Amos Yong 20. The Trouble with Normal: What Difference does a Theology of Disability Make? Rhonda Swenson and Mary Caygill