Theology, Disability, and the Body of Christ
United Theological College’s April research colloquium will focus on theology and disability. In particular, the conference will respond will the work of Professor Brian Brock from Aberdeen University.
Professor Brock’s recent book, Wondrously Wounded: Theology, Disability and the Body of Christ draws upon insights from the Christian theological tradition and his own experiences to reconsider contemporary conceptions of disability.
The book has been described by reviewers as ‘a powerful book’ that ‘cultivates fertile new ground for reimagining disability.’
Dr Michael Mawson is a Senior Lecturer in Systematic Theology and Ethics. He told Insights that disability theology was emerging as a focal point for the college.
“Disability theology has been a vibrant and growing sub-discipline in theology in the last decade,” Dr Mawson said.
“This is in part because attending to the experiences and realities of persons with disabilities can be helpful for understanding what it means to be human. In other words, disability theology can be useful for expanding and challenging standard cultural conceptions of normalcy and autonomy.”
“Since coming to UTC I’ve been keen to begin organising some activities and events in disability theology, including the colloquium on Brian Brock’s work and the May MacLeod lecture with John Swinton. I’m also teaching THL245: God and Humanity with a specific focus on disability theology. This is a long-standing interest in my own work, and I’m currently working on a book on theology and ageing that draws upon disability theology.”
The event is part of a regular series of symposia at the college, each of which has a different focal point. Contributors to the April event include Dr Emmanuel Nathan, Dr Louise Gosbell, and Dr Damian Palmer.
“Our hope for the April colloquium is that all those who attend can have a chance to engage with some of the rich theological work being done in this area, including from some prominent theologians and biblical scholars in Sydney, and to hear some things that can help with negotiating and sustaining pastoral work and personal experiences.”
The research seminar on Theology and Disability takes place at United Theological College on Friday 3 April from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
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