I’m thinking about a Disabled Christians’ Lived Theology Project. The idea would be to share the ways disabled people think and speak about God. (That’s all theology is!) It would be open to people with direct lived experience of disability.* It would be a low-key thing, at first – maybe putting a badge on our blog posts or Twitter feeds, and linking these so they can be easily found. Longer-term, we might be able to work towards doing more to share people’s stories and resources. Poke me by email or on Twitter if you’re interested in taking part.
And before you ask… Questions of lived experience always lead to the question ‘who is disabled?’ I’ve been asked this almost every time I speak publicly about disability and the church. Sometimes, it’s a question designed to pathologise other people, rather than to think about ableism in society (and in all of us). For now, I wonder if the question ‘who is marginalised?’ is more useful. If you’re reflecting on this, here are some prompts for thought:
- The Social Model of Disability, as explained by Inclusion London. (Churches and Christians are part of society.)
- The Invisible Knapsack of Able-bodied Privilege, Melissa Graham.
- Neurotypical Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Elly Childermass.
- What is Ableism? Disability & Philanthropy Forum, with links to disabled people’s work and ideas. (This American website uses different terminology from UK disability terms – e.g. we tend to prefer ‘disabled people’.)
*And if you’re a carer or an interested person, you would be welcome to amplify disabled people’s voices by linking, reblogging and otherwise sharing.