The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability

by Nancy L. Eiesland. Abingdon Press, 1994.

Nancy Eiseland's theology would liberate both persons with disabilities and the "temporarily able-bodied" from lives and ministries that have been broken by isolating, unthinking stereotypes. Contending that persons with disabilities have been marginalized as a minority identifiable by the fact of disability, she would expand "access" beyond barrier removal to inclusion in images, mutual ministry, and the ordinariness of life. Two case narratives describe common aspects of ordinary lives lived in non-ordinary bodies. Human experience and human bodies—with or without current or future disabilities—are part of God's creation. The disabled God—the resurrected-wounded Jesus—presents a body image with which persons with disabilities can identify, and a confirmation that “normal” and impaired bodies alike experience injustice and contingency. This book can help engender a mutual inclusiveness that dispenses with romanticisms and unreflective conventions, and confirms the worth and dignity of ordinary lives lived in common.