Receiving the Gift of Friendship Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics

ISBN-10: 0802862322
ISBN-13: 9780802862327
Edition: 2008
Authors: Hans S. Reinders
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Description: Does what we are capable of doing define us as human beings? If this basic anthropological assumption is true, where can that leave those with intellectual disabilities, unable to accomplish the things that we propose give us our very humanity? Hans  More...

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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Publication date: 4/14/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 416
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.232
Language: English

Does what we are capable of doing define us as human beings? If this basic anthropological assumption is true, where can that leave those with intellectual disabilities, unable to accomplish the things that we propose give us our very humanity? Hans Reinders here makes an unusual claim about unusual people: those who are profoundly disabled are people just like the rest of us. He acknowledges that, at first glance, this is not an unusual claim given the steps taken within the last few decades to bring the rights of those with disabilities into line with the rights of the mainstream. But, he argues, that cannot be the end of the matter, because the disabled are human beings before they are citizens. "To live a human life properly," he says, "they must not only be included in our institutions and have access to our public spaces; they must also be included in other people's lives, not just by natural necessity but by choice." Receiving the Gift of Friendship consists of three parts: (1) Profound Disability, (2) Theology, and (3) Ethics. Overturning the "commonsense" view of human beings, Reinders's argument for a paradigm shift in our relation to people with disabilities is founded on a groundbreaking philosophical-theological consideration of humanity and of our basic human commonality. Moreover, Reinders gives his study human vividness and warmth with stories of the profoundly disabled from his own life and from the work of Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen in L'Arche communities.

Acknowledgments
Introduction
The Subject
A New Vision
Beyond Rights and Justice
Intelligible Experience
The Program
Profound Disability
One of Us
Introducing Kelly
The Hierarchy of Disability
The Problem and Its Problems
No Moral Taxonomy
A Theological Inquiry
The Politics of Friendship
Terminology
"Being Human" and "Being Disabled" I
A Preliminary Objection
Social Constructionism
The Social Model of Disability
"Disability Identity"
The Realist Version of Social Constructionism
Invention and Discovery
Freedom of the Self as Our Final End
Conclusion
"Being Human" and "Being Disabled" II
Roman Catholic Doctrine on Being Human
The Anthropological Ambiguity of Natural Law
A Hierarchy of Being
Marginal Cases
Agere sequitur esse
Potentiality and Actualization
The Theological Option
The Disabled Person as Mystery
Profound Disability and the Quest for the Good
A Different Agenda
The Good of Being Human
"Disability Culture"
The Ethics of Access
Distinct Motivations
Participation in the Good of Being Human
Theology
Theology and Disability I
Introduction
A Theology of Liberation
Self-Representation
Moving from Outside In
Breaking the Barrier
"The Others Who Care"
A Theology of Access
"Beyond Access"
Theology and Disability II
Introduction
Digging Up Presuppositions
"Suffering Presence"
Writing about the Disabled
"A Theology of Human Being"
The Contributory View of Worth
No Instrumental Value
The Goodness of Being
"Freely Creative Activity"
Conclusion
A Trinitarian Concept of Divine and Human Being
Introduction: Intrinsic Qualities
The Double Portrait of Man
"Relationality"
Trinitarian Theology and "Relational Being"
The Contribution of John D. Zizioulas
Ecstatic Personhood as Ecclesial Reality
Zizioulas's Critics
Extrinsic Movement
Conclusion
Ethics
The Fullness of Being: God's Friendship
Introduction: Three Responses
Difference
"Activities That Direct Us to God"
"Poised between Chaos and Cosmos"
From First to Last: All Is Grace
Disability as Moral Failure?
Steadfast Love without Reciprocation
Receiving the Gift of Friendship
Introduction
Receiving
The Story of a Man Born Blind
Seeing
Three Caveats
Being With
No Hiding in Strength
Moments of Wonder
Learning to Become Friends
Introduction
My Friend Ronald
"We Are Friends, Aren't We?"
Aristotle's Friends
Christian Friendship
Eucharistic Practice
The Face of Friendship
Friendship with the Profoundly Disabled
Postscript
Literature
Index

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