Disability Theology

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

The term “Disability Theology” is defined here as Christian theology 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 Dr. Tim Basselin 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. 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. Brock, Brian and John Swinton, eds. Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2012.
  10. Connor, Benjamin T., Disabling Mission, Enabling Witness: Exploring Missiology Through the Lens of Disability Studies. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2018.
  11. Creamer, Deborah Beth. Disability and Christian Theology: Embodied Limits of Constructive Possibilities. New York: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  12. Eisland, Nancy and Don E. Saliers, eds. Human Disability and the Service of God: Reassessing Religious Practice. Nashville: Abingdon, 1998.
  13. Eisland, Nancy L. The Disabled God: Towards a Liberatory Theology of Disability. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1994.
  14. Fox, Bethany McKinney. Disability and the Way of Jesus: Holistic Healing in the Gospels and the Church. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2019.
  15. Gaventa, William C. Disability and Spiritualisty: Revcovering Wholeness. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2018.
  16. Hardwick, Lamar. Disability and the Church: A Vision for Diversity and Inclusion. Downers Grove: InterVarsity, 2021.
  17. Hartsock, Chad. Sight and Blindness in Luke-Acts: The Use of Physical Features in Characterization. Biblical Interpretation Series 94. Leiden: Brill, 2008.
  18. 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
  19. 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.
  20. Institute on Theology and Disability. https://faithanddisability.org/institute/
  21. Institute on Theology and Disability Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/theologydisability/
  22. Jacober, Amy E. Redefining Perfect: The Inerplay Between Theology and Disability. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017.
  23. McCloughry, Roy. The Enabled Life: Christianity in a Disabling World. London: SPCK, 2013.
  24. McLachlan, David. Accessible Atonement: Disability< Theology, and the Cross of Christ. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2021.
  25. 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.
  26. Parsons, Mikeal. Body and Character in Luke and Acts: The Subversion of Physiognomy in Early Christianity. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2006.
  27. Picard, Andrew and Myk Habets, eds. Theology and the Experience of Disability: Interdisciplinary Perspectives from Voices Down Under. New York: Routledge, 2016.
  28. Pilch, John J. Healing in the New Testament: Insights from Mediterranean and Medical Anthropology. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000.
  29. Reinders, Hans S. Disability, Providence, and Ethics: Bridging Gaps, Transforming Lives. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2014.
  30. ———-. Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008.
  31. Reynolds, T.E. Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality. Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2008.
  32. Schumm, Darla Y. and Michael Stoltzfus, eds. Disability and World Religions: An Introduction. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2016.
  33. Soon, Isaac T. “Disability and New Testament Studies: Reflections, Trajectories, and Possibilities.” Journal of Disability and Religion (2021) (forthcoming)
  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, Disability, and the Church: A New Vision of the People of God. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2011.
  39. ———-. The Bible and Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity. Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability. Waco: Baylor University Press, 2007.

*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.

3 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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