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Religions 2017, 8(9), 186;

Why Disability Studies Needs to Take Religion Seriously

Department of Religious Studies, Indiana University, 1033 E 3rd St, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
Received: 20 August 2017 / Revised: 5 September 2017 / Accepted: 8 September 2017 / Published: 13 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Religion, Disability, and Social Justice: Building Coalitions)
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Religion and theology are central ways that many people make sense of the world and their own place in that world. But the insights of critical studies of religion, or what is sometimes positioned as religious studies as opposed to theology, are scarce in disability literature. This article suggests some of the costs of this oversight and some of the benefits of including religion. First, this article discusses how some past scholarly engagements of disability and religion have misrepresented and denigrated Judaism. Second, it argues that Judaism paints different disabilities in quite different ways, and that we cannot coherently talk about “disability in Judaism” as if it is a single thing. Third, it discusses the medical model and the social model, and shows how one Jewish woman’s writing on pain complicates how we might think about these models. In this way, the article shows how religious studies can both help remedy past mistakes and bring new insights to disability studies. View Full-Text
Keywords: disability studies; pain; religious studies; Judaism disability studies; pain; religious studies; Judaism
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Imhoff, S. Why Disability Studies Needs to Take Religion Seriously. Religions 2017, 8, 186.

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