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Living into the Diversity of Christ’s Body

series: Pastoring for Life: Theological Wisdom for Ministering Well

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Leading ethicist and pastoral theologian Brian Brock reflects on the challenge of disability, refuting widely held misconceptions and helping readers respond well to the pastoral implications of disability. Brock, the father of a child with special needs, weaves together theological commentary with narrative reflection, offering rich theological wisdom for shepherding people with disabilities. He shows pastors and ministers-in-training that thinking more closely and theologically about disability is a doorway into a more vibrant and welcoming church life for all Christians.

About the Series
Pastors are called to help people navigate the profound mysteries of being human, from birth to death and everything in between. This series, edited by leading pastoral theologian Jason Byassee, provides pastors and pastors-in-training with rich theological reflection on the various seasons that make up a human life, helping them minister with greater wisdom and joy.

Series Preface
1. Nobody with Disabilities in Our Church
2. Jesus Heals Everyone He Meets
3. God Chose You Because He Knew You Could Handle It
4. Disability Is a Tragic Effect of the Fall
5. We Don't Know Where to Start


"Brian Brock is one of the most interesting and original thinkers within the field of disability theology. In this balanced and thoughtful account Brock provides not only an excellent overview of the field but also new and original ways of thinking about disability and responding to the practical and theological issues that arise from thoughtful exploration. People new to the field and those of us who have been around for a while will find this book invaluable."

John Swinton, chair in divinity and religious studies, University of Aberdeen

"On June 15, 2020, during a global pandemic, a significant funding source for theological studies in the West announced their strategic priorities. The top three were 'Exceptional Cognitive Talent and Genius,' 'Genetics,' and 'Individual Freedom and Free Markets.' Fascination with and focus on concepts like 'genius' and 'individual freedom' are part of Western, mainstream culture. Brian Brock here offers a different conversation, bringing together the words of people who have written courageously about their own lives lived with disability and his own careful exegesis and practiced, experienced thinking about discipleship and real people with real bodies. He gently turns attention away from a well-funded, fearful, social-Darwinian view of human existence, toward lives lived together in fragile solidarity and hope. This is practical and political theology written not to impress geniuses but to invite the rest of us to see one another as awkwardly beheld and tenaciously beloved."

Amy Laura Hall, author of Laughing at the Devil: Seeing the World with Julian of Norwich

"Illuminated by readings of Scripture, enriched by insights from people with disabilities and those who accompany them, and attuned to the factors that have made our churches communities of the abled, this wonderful book by one of the foremost theologians of disability both challenges and invites Christians to take on the beautiful and difficult work of truly being the body of Christ."

Gerald McKenny, Walter Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame

"In his most practical work to date, Brock challenges churches to acknowledge disabled persons in their midst and to consider what it takes to truly be a welcoming church. Brock does not shy away from making his reader uncomfortable, nor does he allow our failure to be the final word. Taking insights from persons with disabilities and their caretakers as well as disability theologians and biblical scholars, Brock invites his readers to reimagine their church practices in light of the diversity of human experience. Disability is wonderfully readable and deeply convicting. It should become essential reading for the contemporary church."

Devan Stahl, assistant professor of religion and bioethics, Baylor University

The Author

  1. Brian Brock
    Stephanie Brock

    Brian Brock

    Brian Brock (DPhil, King's College, London) is professor of moral and practical theology at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland. He is the author of numerous books, including Disability in the Christian Tradition, has written extensively on...

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