Disability Theology

An Introductory Reader’s Guide to Disability Theology, by Dr. Terance Espinoza.

The term “Disability Theology” is broadly defined here as Biblical and Theological Studies by or about people with disabilities. The opinions and goals in this body of literature are varied, and there is no single theological representative to rule them all. The purpose of this list is to provide resources that speak from a particular social location and that will contribute to becoming more well-read in this broad area of biblical studies and theological reflection. Special thanks to Drs. Tim Basselin and Isaac T. Soon for consulting on this bibliography.


  1. Avalos, Hector, Jeremy Schipper, and Sarah Melcher, eds. This Abled Body: Rethinking Disabilities in Biblical Studies. Semeia 55. Leiden: Brill, 2007.
  2. Basselin, Tim. “Why Theology Needs Disability.” Theology Today 68 (2011): 47-57.
  3. Brock, Brian and John Swinton, eds. Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.
  4. Hauerwas, Stanley. “Disability: An Attempt to Think With.” Fontbonne University, St. Louis, Missouri. Online: https://www.fontbonne.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/2011.pdf.
  5. Jones, Kirsty L. “Disability in the Hebrew Bible: A Literature Review.” Journal of Disability & Religion. 25 (2021).
  6. Moss, Candida R. and Jeremy Schipper, eds. Disability Studies and Biblical Literature. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011.
  7. Picard, Andrew and Myk Habets, eds. Theology and the Experience of Disability: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Voices Down Under. New York: Routledge, 2016.
  8. Schumm, Darla Y. and Michael Stoltzfus, eds. Disability and World Religions: An Introduction. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016.
  9. Soon, Isaac T. “Disability and New Testament Studies: Reflections, Trajectories, and Possibilities.” Journal of Disability and Religion 25 (2021): 1-14.
  10. Yong, Amos. The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.


  1. Melcher, Sarah J., Mikeal C. Parsons, and Amos Yong, eds. The Bible and Disability: A Commentary. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2017.


  1. “A Reading List for Greek and Latin Medicine.”ReMeDHe. Working Group for Religion, Medicine, Disability, and Health in Late Antiquity. Onine: https://remedhe.com/research-guide-to-greek-and-latin-medicine/
  2. Basselin, Tim. Flannery O’Connor: Writing a Theology of Disabled Humanity. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2013.
  3. Bellini, Peter J. The Cerulean Soul: A Relational Theology of Depression. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2021.
  4. Berkman, John. “Are Persons with Profound Intellectual Disabilities Sacramental Icons of Heavenly Life? Aquinas on Impairment.” Studies in Christian Ethics 26 (2013): 83-96.
  5. Bishop, M. E., ed. ed., Religion and Disability: Essays in Scripture, Theology and Ethics. Kansas: Sheed and Ward, 1995.
  6. Black, Kathy. A Healing Homiletic: Preaching and Disability. Nashville: Abingdon, 1996.
  7. Brock, Brian. Disability: Living into the Diversity of Christ’s Body. Pastoring for Life series. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2021.
  8. ———-. Wondrously Wounded; Theology, Disability, and the Body of Christ. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2019.
  9. Connor, Benjamin T., Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness: Exploring Missiology Through the Lens of Disability Studies. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2018.
  10. Creamer, Deborah Beth. Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits of Constructive Possibilities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  11. Eisland, Nancy and Don E. Saliers, eds. Human Disability and the Service of God: Reassessing Religious Practice. Nashville: Abingdon, 1998.
  12. Eisland, Nancy L. The Disabled God: Towards a Liberatory Theology of Disability. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.
  13. Fox, Bethany McKinney. Disability and the Way of Jesus: Holistic Healing in the Gospels and the Church. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2019.
  14. Gaventa, William C. Disability and Spirituality: Recovering Wholeness. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2018.
  15. Hardwick, Lamar. Disability and the Church: A Vision for Diversity and Inclusion. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2021.
  16. Hartsock, Chad. Sight and Blindness in Luke-Acts: The Use of Physical Features in Characterization. Biblical Interpretation Series 94. Leiden: Brill, 2008.
  17. Harshaw, Jill. God Beyond Words: Christian Theology and the Spiritual Experiences of People with Profound Intellectual Disabilities. Studies in Religion and Theology. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2016.
  18. Henning, Meghan R. Hell Hath No Fury: Gender, Disability, and the Invention of Damned Bodies in Early Christian Literature. New Haven: Yale, 2021.
  19. Hubach, Stephanie O. Same Lake, Different Boat: Coming Alongside People Touched by Disability. Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006.
  20. Hulshof, Chris. Jesus and Disability: A Guide to Creating an Inclusive Church. Nashville: B&H, 2022.
  21. Institute on Theology and Disability. https://faithanddisability.org/institute/
  22. Institute on Theology and Disability Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/theologydisability/
  23. Jacober, Amy E. Redefining Perfect: The Interplay Between Theology and Disability. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017.
  24. Journal of Disability and Religion
  25. Laes, Christian. “Disability History and the Ancient World.” Online: https://www.disabilityhistory-ancientworld.com/
  26. McCloughry, Roy. The Enabled Life: Christianity in a Disabling World. London: SPCK, 2013.
  27. McLachlan, David. Accessible Atonement: Disability, Theology, and the Cross of Christ. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2021.
  28. Moss, Candida R. Divine Bodies: Resurrecting Perfection in the New Testament and Early Christianity. New Haven: Yale, 2019.
  29. Parsons, Mikeal. Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006.
  30. Pilch, John J. Healing in the New Testament: Insights from Mediterranean and Medical Anthropology. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000.
  31. Reinders, Hans S. Disability, Providence, and Ethics: Bridging Gaps, Transforming Lives. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2014.
  32. ———-. Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
  33. Reynolds, T.E. Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2008.
  34. Swinton, John. Becoming Friends of Time: Disability, Timefulness, and Gentle Discipleship. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016.
  35. ———-. “From Inclusion to Belongs: A Practical Theology of Community, Disability and Humanness.” Journal of Religion, Disability & Health 16 (2012): 182-190.
  36. Tataryn, Myroslaw and Maria Truchan-Tataryn. Discovering Trinity in Disability: A Theology for Embracing Difference. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2013.
  37. Vacek, Heather H. Madness: American Protestant Responses to Mental Illness. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2015.
  38. Yong, Amos. The Bible and Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007.
  39. ———-. The Bible, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.

*This page is a work in progress and will continue to be developed. It is being published now in an effort to collaborate with students and colleagues. If you have suggestions for resources that belong on this page, please leave them in a comment below.

Note to students

As with all research bibliographies, resources are included not because they are endorsed but because they make a contribution to the discipline in a meaningful way. It is not expected that you will agree with everything in these resources or with everything the authors say in other venues. But it is important to read with a generous and open attitude in order to understand what they are saying so that whether you agree or disagree with them, you are able to articulate their views in a fair and clear manner.

4 thoughts on “Disability Theology

  1. Another book to add to this brilliant bibliography: “A Healing Homiletic: Preaching and Disability “ by Kathy Black


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