What does disability have to do with Christian ethics? Why its absence matters

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Abstract

The theme of disability has very rarely appeared in mainstream academic theological ethics. This paper will examine some of the reasons for this oversight and suggest why it matters that practitioners of the discipline of Christian ethics take disability seriously. My approach will be to contrast the rhetorical world in which we talk about disability today with the earliest eras of Christianity. It is therefore a report on two conversations: one with contemporary medical ethics, and one with the earliest Christians.

In the opening section I will outline the place of disability in modern medical ethics, and in the second I will depict some early Christian views of what we today call disability. In some brief concluding reflections I will suggest why it matters today that the church think hard about disability. I will also indicate a few intellectual problems that remain to be solved for those of us who take the diversity of human life to be a continual challenge to the faithfulness of the church.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-37
Number of pages15
JournalSt Mark's Review
Volume232
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2015

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