Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Working Group on Theologies of Disability

I've been working on a small United Church of Canada group on theologies of disability, responding to a request to the church's Theology and Interchurch Interfaith Committee (of which I'm a member) stemming from a national consultation with people with disabilities last year. We have only met once, largely to set parameters for our work, and are now awaiting nominations of additional members. But here is the language from the nominations document, telling the church what we will be doing:
How does disability matter for our theologies? How do our experiences with disability shape our understandings of God?

The mandate of the working group is to engage the United Church in an exploration of theologies of disability, which could include engaging concepts such as healing, cure, sin, and normalcy, and to make this work widely available in the church.

The working group will explore questions and concepts that relate to the attitudes toward people with disabilities, and intersections between disabilities and other identities—including gender identity and racial identity. The group’s work will relate to the church’s work on intercultural engagement; it will also seek to explore concepts related to difference, diversity, power, and privilege. The working group may also explore how disability theologians have worked on medical, social, and cultural models of disability; in addition, it may consider theological topics such as what it means to be made in the image of God (imago Dei), providence, and the disabled God.

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