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Disability and Christian TheologyEmbodied Limits and Constructive Possibilities$
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Deborah Beth Creamer

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195369151

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195369151.001.0001

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Disability and Christianity

Disability and Christianity

(p.35) 2 Disability and Christianity
Disability and Christian Theology

Deborah Beth Creamer (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes some of the ways in which religious communities have often been unhelpful, and even harmful, in relation to people with disabilities. It explores the relationship, and occasional lack of relationship, between disability and Christian theology in history in order to understand better factors contributing to contemporary understandings of disability. This includes examination of ancient authors, the Hebrew Bible, Jesus, Paul, the early church, and the move into modern times. The chapter then explores problematic contemporary religious understandings of disability, including interpretations of disability as punishment for one's own sin or for the sin of one's parents, a test of faith, an opportunity to build character or to inspire others, an occasion for the power of God to be made manifest, a sign that one lacks faith, or a mysterious result of God's will.

Keywords:   history, theology, Bible, scripture, Jesus, Paul, punishment, test, faith, interpretation

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