by Justin Hancock – Cascade Books
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This book invites its readers to an exploration of some of the greatest theologians in Christian history through the lens of disability theology in order to understand how the Christian Church is intended to deal with the ever-evolving concept and reality that is the disabled human experience.
This books brings together an account of the history of disability civil rights, beginning in the early twentieth century and evolving to the present day. It takes a look at some of the foremost theologians in Christian history as seen through the lens of disability theology, in order to help the reader gain an understanding of a diverse, unique, and ever-evolving culture.
According to the CDC, as of 2015 approximately 53 million Americans live with some form of disability. This book attempts to offer a new way forward for the church to engage with this incredibly diverse, unique, and wonderful culture by offering first a brief introduction to the history of disability civil rights to allow the reader to understand and experience how many of the trends and forces that shape civil rights on a broad national level were present from the very beginning within the disabled community and the movement towards the ADA. Then, by exploring some of the greatest theologians in the history of the church, this book hopes to illuminate the ways in which the church has served those with disabilities well, and in many cases not so well, throughout its history. Finally, the book will close with a hopeful, optimistic, and yet practical way forward rooted in the concepts of hospitality, community, and mutuality that we call the Julian Way.
“The Julian Way brings a vision of community in which all the members are valued, and all forms of gifted-ness are incorporated into the whole. This vision allows all people to have pride in who they are and to fully experience self-worth within the context of the greater Christian community. Hancock brings the reader an historical and theological overview of the world of disability and calls for a new day of empowerment and grace.” –Peggy A. Johnson, Bishop, Philadelphia Area of the United Methodist Church
“This book is a beautiful and deeply thoughtful exploration of disability theology from a practitioner whose hard-won wisdom will increasingly impact the church in the years ahead. A must read for Christian leaders.”” –Elaine A. Heath, Dean, Professor of Missional and Pastoral Theology, Duke University “”Religious leaders reading scriptures from an able-bodied perspective will in this deeply moving book find a more inclusive understanding of God’s presence in the world. This book breaks new ground for religious communities to systematically reflect on the human rights of differently abled-persons and widens the knowledge base of the church to articulate a theology of a disabled and vulnerable God. Must read for disability and church studies.” –Harold J. Recinos, author of Breathing Space
“The Julian Way opened my eyes to see each person as a gift from God. The stories challenge the Church to see with new eyes those we consider handicapped. Every congregation needs to read this book before examining where and how God is calling them to make disciples of Jesus Christ in their community.” –D. Max Whitfield, Bishop in Residence, Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University