⌚ The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis

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The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis



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The Disabled God

Earl Boyea. Jason Oppenheim. Kerry Taylor. Jann Browne. Audrey Quock. Morgan Larson. Franco Harris. Burke Black. Ivano Zasio. Vincent Kokert. The minority group model unmasks these ableist stereotypes, naming disability as social oppression based on an un-interrogated normative body, and recognizes disability as a human rights issue. Despite the preference for the minority model over the medical model among many disability rights activists, Creamer and others note significant shortcomings. She states:. By emphasizing the social and political nature of disability, the minority model devalues [the physical and emotional reality of impairment.

Creamer advances a new model of disability and embodiment to critique and complement both the medical model and the minority group model. She calls it the "limits model" because it "begins with the notion of limits as a common, indeed quite unsurprising, aspect of being human. What is important here is recognizing that criticisms from within the disability community can give life to newer models that can change dominant structures and attitudes in health care. Catholic health care ethicists need to understand the social marginalization faced by persons with disabilities from their own particular perspectives and experiences.

As Mary Jo Iozzio argues, "If the person adequately and integrally considered is the proper subject of theological ethics then both experience and study qualify as sufficient grounds of authority in and for the moral life. Eiesland reflects on the life experiences of Diane Devries, a woman born without some of her limbs, to advance an understanding of "bodies of knowledge" that takes seriously the multitude of nonconventional bodies that constitute ordinary existence. Considering "the ethic we need" to cultivate good moral vision, theological ethicist Larry Rassmussen shares the following story of a man with a visible disability while addressing health care professionals about organ transplantation:.

The young man spoke matter-of-factly about his condition and went on to say that in many ancient civilizations the disabled were put to death. This had happened in the United States as well and, even now, in certain cases the disabled were not allowed to live Several people challenged him from the floor. His reply was a question: If two persons could avoid death, and could anticipate significantly prolonged life from an organ transplant, and if the only difference between them was that one was notably disabled and the other not, who would receive the transplant?

Quiet moral shock set in as it came clear to them that they had not considered the disabled to be fully persons. Rassmussen goes on to relay the following reflections from a conference participant: "In the silences between their sentences the participants sensed that they had passed beyond the discussion of ethical, economic, medical, and legal terms to glimpse new horizons of responsibility. Their sense of humanity had expanded. By listening closely to the experiences of persons from the disability community as an authoritative source, Catholic health care ethicists can begin to critique discriminatory social structures like the "medical model" of disability and offer new models that more adequately express the diversity of ordinary life.

This will include integrating new sources of experience interviews, ethnography, and focus groups with sources present in the Catholic tradition papal and bishop statements, the ERDs , and work by Catholic theologians on diversity and embodiment. It will mean supporting health care practitioners who resist the dominant "medical model" of disability, along with not being satisfied until the structures that perpetuate the glorification of an abstract normative body are confronted and nuanced. Approaching disability from this perspective makes apparent the limits of focusing narrowly within the personhood discussion, and calls Catholic health care ethicists to ask how the structures and attitudes present within their institutions can invite inclusivity and celebration of diverse bodies within a community.

Catholic health care ethicists will also find resources from within a growing group of disability theologies from Protestant theologians. Disability Theology: The Disabled God and the Limits Model Disability theology grew out of the liberation felt by the disability community with the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act ADA coupled with the challenges traditional theology and church structures still posed to inclusivity. While the ADA advanced principles of equal access to employment, buildings, transportation, and communication devices, many churches still harbored practices that restricted some persons with disabilities from ordination and partaking in the Eucharist.

As liaisons for an institution of the Catholic Church that serves people with disabilities and advocates for all marginalized persons, Catholic health care ethicists ought to be especially concerned with the effects of these aspects of our Christian heritage that are damaging to the community of disabled persons. To debunk exclusionary theology and church practices, Eiesland advances the concept of the disabled God. Eiesland explains that the resurrected Jesus Christ, complete with punctured hands and feet and gaping torso, is revealed as God disabled.

Through the resurrection, "the disabled God is also the revealer of a new humanity" and "the revelation of true personhood, underscoring the reality that full personhood is fully compatible with the experience of disability. Foreshadowing Creamer's advancement of a limits model of embodiment, Eiesland points out that the limits of our bodies are divinely affirmed, and therefore hope for our eternal and temporal salvation does not rest upon what body we have, as non-conventional as it may be. The social implications of the image of a disabled God are numerous: it evokes an image of "God with and for us" that fully understands the limitedness and diversity of human embodiment and calls for justice for all who are currently marginalized for traits that actually reflect the divine image.

The theological implications of the divine God are more complex, and necessitate critical reflection. For example, the notion of a disabled God may seem contradictory to other characteristics we normally use to describe God, like omnipotent, omniscient, radically-other, and literally unlimited. For Eiesland, these traditional descriptors are not untrue. She notes, "For people with disabilities who have grasped divine healing as the only liberatory image the traditional church has offered, relinquishing belief in an all-powerful God who could heal, if [God] would, is painful.

Bringing Creamer's description of limitedness to the discussion, we do not have to understand a disabled or limited God in a negative sense. Creamer notes, "When we imagine an unlimited God, there is a subtle implication that the more limits we have, the less we are like God. She points out that in many understandings of God, "God took limits willingly For those who are skeptical that the image of a disabled God can be complementary with traditional, historical, and especially normative or doctrinal understandings of Christology, I offer one more argument for the place of this image of God within our body of ways of knowing. Eiesland shares an epiphany she had of God, a God that to her "bore little resemblance to the God [she] was expecting or the God of [her] dreams.

Finding God in all things also opens us up to multiple and varying ideas of God and our relationship with God that are not mutually exclusive, but converge toward greater understanding. For Eiesland, it is not problematic to hold the image of the disabled God in tandem with other images — instead, it is liberatory. She sees the incorporation of different models of God as the body of God coming alive, and as an invitation to follow these images to a deeper understanding of ourselves in relationship to God.

Through the disabled God, we recognize the common yet diversified limitedness of all of humanity and our complicity in creating and maintaining social structures that refuse to acknowledge this diversity. Additionally, by not interrogating how far the medical model of disability reaches, we overlook the particularity and diversity of those who identify as part of the disability community and fail to recognize these persons as full participants in human community. Eiesland and Creamer's disability theologies bring up important theological questions that ought to be considered from a Catholic perspective within the context of health care.

For example, what does it mean that our resurrected savior is disabled? How does this image of God contextualize more traditional God characteristics like omnipotence? What does it mean to add "disabled God" to our ways of knowing God, not just for people with disabilities, but for all Christians deepening their sense of the divine? Is there room in a Catholic Trinitarian perspective for both a transcendent God and a disabled resurrected Christ? What is the potential role of the Holy Spirit in a Catholic disability theology? The Catholic theological and intellectual tradition is rich with discourses that can address some of these questions. Catholic health care ethicists ought to mine these resources in order to respond to the pervasiveness of the medical model of disability and to disability theologies.

While this section is not attempting to advance a Catholic theology of disability at this point, it does carve out the parameters within which such a theology would need to begin and identify potential partners for the conversation. Conclusion: Implications for Catholic Health Care Catholic health care ethicists must take seriously the commitment to persons with disabilities expressed in the ERDs.

Moreover, Catholic health care ethicists have a responsibility to take seriously the theological contributions of disability theology, including the image of the disabled God and the limits model. While these theologies may require critique and reform in light of Catholic theological commitments, we must acknowledge their consistency with other Christian theologies and the resonance they may have with our non-Catholic patients and associates.

Further, the re-centering work these theologies have done to break down the false binary relationship perceived between abled and disabled bodies, to consider disability and limits as inherently human and divinely experienced, and above all to bring the voices and experiences of the disability community to the center require a response from the largest group of religiously based health care institutions in the country. The future of Catholic health care ethics calls for structural critique of disability models informed by voices from the disability community, as well as a response to disability theologies. Responses to this legislation by disability rights activists have been fierce.

In late June , ADAPT protesters, many with visible disabilities and many using wheelchairs, were arrested for staging sit-ins to protest proposed cuts to Medicaid. Protests blossomed across the country, including in the offices of members of Congress. Social media coverage of these events—including images of some wheelchair users being forcibly removed from their wheelchairs and carried off by police, and pictures of others having their hands cuffed behind them in their wheelchairs—has been significant. Explicit appeals to religious ideals or doctrine to support the rights of people with disabilities were rare within this particular hashtag, however.

This raises some questions: What might religious people make of this ongoing clash of values? What tools does Christian theology provide for analyzing and responding to this issue? Disability theology is typically identified as a form of liberation theology, offering critiques of social systems that violate the intentions and will of God by oppressing and dehumanizing people with disabilities. Particularly relevant to the current healthcare debate is the work that Eiesland and others have done to identify sin in the phenomenon of oppression: what is wrong is the lack of access for people with disabilities to equal education, healthcare, public spaces, and other social systems that support non-disabled people in their independence.

The sin is located not in the body of the person with a disability or a preexisting condition but in the marginalizing of that person by his or her society. The argument that access to healthcare is a reward for living a moral life presumes that the origin of a disability is within the control of an individual person, rather than being a function of the diversity of human biology or the result of an everyday experience like aging, a car accident, a healthcare diagnosis, a traumatic experience, or the emergence of a mental illness.

Considering "the ethic we need" to The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis good Personal Narrative: Moving On The Trailer vision, theological ethicist Larry Rassmussen shares the The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis story of a man with a visible disability while The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis health microsoft swot analysis The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis about organ transplantation:. In this talk, John Stonestreet engages The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis audience regarding the role of Christianity in culture and explains the form in The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis Christians are to act within Honey Bees Wings negative spiral of Culture Bound Syndrome Research Paper morals and evil in our The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis. The medical or "functional-limitation" model of disability, all too familiar in health care circles, "is focused around what one can or cannot physically The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis functionally do" and The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis closest to the common The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis idea that a disability is what someone has when his or her body or mind does not work properly. Creamer's "limits model" reveals a God who lovingly took on human limits through the Incarnation. The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis the church does not change its way The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis thinking Subordination Of Women In The Great Gatsby how can God truly be no The Disabled God Eiesland Analysis Nomothetic Offender Profiles persons.

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