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Disability affords unique perspectives on God, theology and the spirit. These are informed partially by societal perceptions of the disabled person, and how those perceptions are accepted and assimilated into culture. With the proliferation of different disabilities, and the varying levels of disability possible in each, public perception tends to group these into one, and this also feeds into and clouds the issue. How liberal, progressive and liberation theologies affect and are affected by those with disabilities is discussed at length, as well as what the presence of the disabled says about our national and international cultures.
In this remarkable and incisive work, Sharon Betcher analyzes our world and God's embodied presence in the light of her own disability and the insight it affords. She claims disablement as a site of powerful social and religious critique and reflection. With searing honesty, she reveals how our culture, only recently tolerant and supportive of disabled people, still fears them. The presence of disabled persons stands as a rebuke to our images of body and health, to the distorted values of our consumerist culture, and the globalized economy that embodies those values in unjust structures.Yet, Betcher claims, disablement has also revealed powerful alternative understandings of the body and body politic, in Scripture, in the actions of Jesus, in the healing work of the Spirit at work in the world. Brimming with insight, Betcher's work is a revelation and a bracing challenge to all Christians.