The paper explores the significance of our bodies for an understanding of what it means to be a member of the body of Christ and ultimately for what it means to be human. Within the body of Christ, our bodies cease to be our own. We discover that who we are is who we are “in Christ.” As we come to recognise that the essence of the body of Christ is its diversity and unification in Christ, so we begin to see the importance of bodies that some might consider to be different. The mark of the body of Christ is the diversity of the bodies within it. Unity is created and held not through equality but via diversity-in-Christ. Bodies matter. Through reflecting on the experience of intellectual disability, dementia and mental health problems, the paper lays out a theology of the liturgical body exploring issues such as: the problem with mutuality in relationships with God, the holiness of all human bodies and the critical significance of Christian friendship for enabling the day-to-day life of worship.
- intellectual disability
- inclusive congregations