I write a monthly article for Spectrum Magazine, an Adventist journal and website featuring Adventist and Christian viewpoints and news. This month I wrote some thoughts on the way the field of disability studies has informed biblical studies. I am by no means an expert on the topic (that honour goes to my friend Isaac Soon), but I did teach a postgraduate module on this topic for a few years.
Disability is an important topic for reading the Bible, and not only because there are many disabled people in it. From a theological point of view, disability might well be a core aspect to Paul’s theology:
Jesus’s death and—remember he still carries the scars—permanent disfigurement reminds us that Christians need to think differently about ability and disability. Though disability often marginalizes people, it is at the absolute core of the gospel. Jesus’s death and Paul’s theology move disability from the margins of society to the center of Christianity.Read the rest.
Anyone looking to learn a bit more about disability studies and the Bible or ancient cultures might want to check out one of these online articles!
- The World Turned Right-Side Up: Was Saint Paul’s famous “torn in the flesh” a disability? by Isaac Soon
- Disabilities in the Bible by Meghan Henning
- A Brief Guide to Disability Terminology and Theory in Ancient World Studies by Alexandra Morris
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