Theology of disability

The Spirit and disabled empowerment

Authored by: Shane Clifton , Greta E.C. Wells

The Routledge Handbook of Pentecostal Theology

Print publication date:  April  2020
Online publication date:  March  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138580893
eBook ISBN: 9780429507076
Adobe ISBN:


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Disability plays a significant role in the history of Pentecostalism, even if that role is implicit rather than explicit, as the silent partner to its emphasis on divine healing. This chapter provides an overview of the meanings of disability, as embodied impairment and sociocultural construction, and summarizes the disabled critique of some biblical and Pentecostal theologies and practices of healing. The essay then outlines a pneumatological theology of disability, one that understands disability not as an aberration or a consequence of the fall, but as inherent to the nature of the evolving world as created by God and filled with the Spirit. It utilizes a Pentecostal hermeneutic to reread the gospel narratives as empowering for people with disabilities and sets out a theology of flourishing as fulfilling the trajectory of the Pentecostal emphasis on healing and prosperity.

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