Vulnerable Communion A Theology of Disability and Hospitality

ISBN-10: 1587431777

ISBN-13: 9781587431777

Edition: 2008

Authors: Thomas E. Reynolds

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As parents of an autistic son, Thomas E. Reynolds and his wife know what its like to be misunderstood by a church community. In Vulnerable Communion, Reynolds draws upon that personal experience and a diverse body of literature to empower churches and individuals to foster deeper hospitality toward persons with disabilities. Reynolds argues that the Christian story is one of strength coming from weakness, of wholeness emerging from brokenness, and of power in vulnerability. He offers valuable biblical, theological, and pastoral tools to understand and welcome those with disabilities. Vulnerable Communion will be a useful resource for any student, theologian, church leader, or lay person seeking to discover the power of God revealed through weakness.
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Book details

List price: $25.00
Copyright year: 2008
Publisher: Brazos Press
Publication date: 4/1/2008
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 256
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 1.100
Language: English

Thomas E. Reynolds (PhD, Vanderbilt University) is associate professor of theology at Emmanuel College in the Toronto School of Theology, University of Toronto. He lives in North York, Ontario.

Theology and Disability: Perils and Promises
A Disabling Theology or a Theology of Disability?
Defining Disability beyond the Medical Model
Understanding Disability Christianly: Is Disability a Tragedy to Be Undone?
Beyond Theodicy?
Toward a Hermeneutic of Disability
Dismantling Alienating Notions of Disability: Developing a Typology
Avoiding the Theological Denigration of Disability
Avoiding the Theological Trivialization of Disability
Conclusion: Toward a Wider Horizon for Theological Thinking about Disability
Communal Boundaries: Dwelling Together and the Cult of Normalcy
The Human Need for Welcome
Fundamental Trust-A Desire for "Home"
Home as Dwelling Together
Social Boundaries: Ability and Disability
Community and Identity-Frameworks of the Good
Recognition, Value, and the Good: Into the Sway of the Cult of Normalcy
Economies of Exchange
Body Capital-Measuring Exchange Value
The Cult of Normalcy
Outside the Good
Stigma-The Spoiled Body
Taboo-Prohibiting the Abnormal
Conclusion: Against "Normalization"?
Able Bodies? The Illusion of Control and Denial of Vulnerability
Theoretical Roots of the Modern Notion of Personhood
Problems with Equality, Freedom, Independence, and Reason
Ironic Equality-Like "Us"
Ironic Self-sufficiency and Freedom-Dis-abling Ability?
Ironically Rational-Routing the Irrational (Reason-unable?)
Managing the Body: The Productive Imperative
Wealth Accumulation
Efficiency-A Competitive Edge on Time
Novelty-The Tyranny of the New
The Person as Consumer-Empowered to Purchase
Beautiful, Youthful, and Able Bodies
Conclusion: Spiritual Self-Interest?
Recovering Disability: The Strange Power of "Weakness"
Vulnerability: Reassessing Wholeness and Disability
Dependence-Rethinking "Normal"
The Difficult Strength of Vulnerability-Neediness and the Reality of Suffering
Encountering Disability, Suffering the Other
Creative Openings-An Autobiographical Excursus on Love
Against Pity and Charity?
Getting Closer-Loving Chris
Relational Wholeness: Love's Interdependence
The Strange Power of Weakness-Enabling Love
Love-To Welcome the Presence of the Other
The Moral Fabric of Love: Availability
Respect-Giving Way for the Other
Fidelity-Faithfulness to the Other
Compassion-Sympathy with the Other, for Its Well-being
Conclusion: Empowering Community
Love Divine: Vulnerability, Creation, and God
Love and Conversion to God
Gratitude-Existence as Gift
Hope-Relation beyond Tragedy
The Sense of God-An Extraordinary Possibility in Vulnerable Ordinariness
Creation's God: A Theological Matrix
God's Transcendence and the Redemptive Encounter
Naming God's Redemptive Presence
God's Creative Power: Toward a Theology of Creation
In the Beginning, God
Creation Called into Being
Creation from Nothing
Continuing Creation and Providence
Creation a Free Act of God
Creation as Gift, Loved into Being
Relation and Vulnerability in God and Creation
Creation's Difference, God's Giving
Creation and the Tragic
Divine Vulnerability and Tragedy
Conclusion: Theology of Creation in a Key of Gratitude and Hope
Worthy of Love? Humanity, Disability, and Redemption in Christ
Reconsidering the Imago Dei
Imago Dei as Imitatio Dei
Imago Dei as Creativity-Human Being as a Cocreative Agent of God
Imago Dei as Relationality-Human Being as Embodied along with Others
Imago Dei as Availability-Human Being as Freedom for Love
The Imago Dei and Disability
Sin's Tragedy and the Possibility of Redemption
Sin-Creative Freedom for Love Gone Awry
Sin, Idolatry, and the Possibility of Redemption
Reconsidering Redemption in Jesus Christ
Jesus as the Icon of a Vulnerable God-Redemptive Revelation
Jesus-The Fully Human Person
Jesus as God's Solidarity with Humanity-Incarnation, Cross, and Resurrection
Conclusion: Reversing Disability's Disability
Being Together: Love, Church, and Hospitality
To Love as Christ Loves: Loving Chris as Christ Loves and Loving Christ as Chris Loves
The Strange Kingdom of God: Restoring the Imago Dei in Right Relationships
The Creative Power of Inclusion-Welcoming (in) the Kingdom
Healing Power-Welcome, Transformation, and Wholeness
Cross as Inclusive Solidarity-The Power of Inability
Disability and the Imitation of Christ
The Strange Household of God: Church as the Ongoing Presence of Christ
Church as the Household of God-A New Covenant
Church as the Body of Christ
Church as Anticipation-The Not Yet Kingdom of God
Hospitality: Welcoming (in) the Spirit
Hospitality-Inspirited Openness to the Other
Hospitality and Disability
Conclusion: Kindling Hope for the Church as a Communion of Strangers
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