Cover

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Advance Praise, About the Series, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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Series Introduction

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pp. vii-viii

Studies in Religion, Theology, and Disability brings newly established and emerging scholars together to explore issues at the intersection of religion, theology, and disability. The series editors encourage theoretical engagement with secular disability studies while supporting the reexamination of established religious doctrine and practice. ...

Contents

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pp. ix-x

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Acknowledgments

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pp. xi-xiv

My work at the intersections of faith and disability began in the early 1970s. So many people have been guides and companions on that journey, and thus they have contributed to this book. Sometimes the experience at the intersections of faith and disability was more like a collision than it was a collaboration, but I learned from those as well. ...

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Preface

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pp. xv-xx

Any conversation about vocation or call involves the paradox of whether we find our vocation or it finds us. Both feel true for me. Thinking I was headed toward parish ministry or hospital chaplaincy, one of my first assignments as a clinical pastoral education (CPE) intern was to spend a tenth of my time as a trainee in an interdisciplinary diagnostic, ...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-6

Larry used to come see me frequently in my chaplain’s office in the old Newark State School, then Newark Developmental Center, or what had been once the Newark State Custodial Asylum for Feeble-Minded Women. He knew there was something wrong with him, or he thought so. Why else would I be here? Why am I different? ...

Part 1. Disability and Spirituality: Each Leads to the Other

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1. Naming and Defining Disability: A Brief History

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pp. 9-24

I never expected to be a minister working with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Soon after seminary, I did a year of clinical pastoral education at North Carolina Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill. My interest in pediatrics led to an involuntary assignment of 10 percent of my time for the year to a new ...

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2. Disability: From Definition, Diagnosis, and Assessment to Meaning

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pp. 25-42

As models of disability have evolved, there is no nondebated, static, universal, or objective definition of disability. The current definitions do not depend solely on physical impairments or measures of intelligence. Efforts to understand and name disability depend significantly on the context in which disability is understood, defined, and described. ...

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3. Spirituality: From Meaning to Disability

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pp. 43-62

Like disability, spirituality can also be thought of as a social construct—as a way of talking about a dimension of human experience. Like disability, spirituality covers a huge range of perspectives, theories, theologies, and experiences. Understandings of spirituality vary greatly by context, culture, period, and personal circumstance. Those understandings ...

Part 2. Spirituality in the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities

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4. Spirituality in the Lives of Individuals with Disabilities

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pp. 65-84

One way to explore spirituality in the lives of people with disabilities is through the lens of each major “kind” of disability. That is not the approach taken here for a variety of reasons. First, disability and spiritualty are being explored with a focus on connections between and within those arenas, not about perspectives on spirituality related ...

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5. Spiritual Development and Formation: From Child to Adult

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pp. 85-100

Hear the perspectives of four young adults with varied forms of intellectual and developmental disabilities on a panel at a conference in Portland, Oregon, entitled, “Treat Me as a Member, Not a Mission,” in response to a question: “How did/does your disability contribute to your choosing the spiritual path you have?” ...

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6. Spirituality and the Transition to Adulthood

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pp. 101-118

Spirituality and transitions are inextricably linked. If we see spirituality as journey, journeys are from one time to another, one place to another, one state of being to another, one identity to another, one age to another, and multiple other forms of changes in one’s life. There are spiritual dimensions of important life transitions such as birth, ...

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7. Spirituality, Aging, and End of Life: A Paradox of Loss and Celebration

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pp. 119-134

The spiritual needs and gifts of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities stand out with a stark clarity in the years of aging and end of life (just as they do for most everyone), with the corresponding issues of handling grief and loss throughout one’s life. Until relatively recently, these needs and ways to support individuals with intellectual ...

Part 3. Spirituality and Families

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8. Spirituality and Families: Beginnings and Journeys

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pp. 137-158

Invite a group of families who have children or adult members with disabilities to tell some of their faith stories (church, synagogue, mosque, depending on context). They will never give lukewarm answers. If the families trust you and each other at some level, that is, no one is going to report on them or judge them, and the questions are open ended ...

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9. Respite Care: A Sabbath for (and from) Caregivers

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pp. 159-172

One of the biblical questions I sometimes ask when giving presentations about scriptural traditions and disability is, “When is respite care first mentioned in the Bible?” Occasionally, someone makes the connection and answers, “Genesis, chapter 1: ‘After creating and working for six days, God rested.’ ” The significance of a Sabbath was built into the very ...

Part 4. Spirituality and Professionals

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10. Integrating Spirituality in Professional Services and Roles

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pp. 175-194

Questions about how to integrate spirituality in professional roles and services raise a prior question: “What does it mean to be a professional?” “Professional” as a noun means one “engaged or qualified in a particular profession,” engaged in an activity as an occupation, not just a pastime, and “competent, or skilled, in a particular activity.” ...

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11. Spirituality, Care, and Commitment

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pp. 195-210

The past fifty years have brought significant changes in laws, policies, and practices for people with disabilities and their families. What has driven those changes? At first, the advocacy of families with children with intellectual and developmental disabilities aligned with that of veterans with disabilities after the Second World War. ...

Part 5. All of Us: Friendships, Relationships, and Community

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12. Gift and Call: Recovering the Spiritual Dimensions of Friendship

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pp. 213-230

One constant theme in discussions on spirituality and disability is the importance of friendships.1 Respite care through natural relationships and activities, peer supports and relationships in transition, finding employment through friends, growing up in a caring and loving community, and helping to build community: these areas of practice ...

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13. Relationships Are Not Easy: Challenging Behaviors, Positive Behavior Supports, and Spirituality

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pp. 231-246

Relationships are sometimes very hard. Even the task of maintaining friendships is often a challenge when either party acts in a way that belies the positive feelings of connection, the history of a friendship, or the underlying personal, social, and cultural understandings of those relationships. This is no less true for and with people with intellectual ...

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14. Spirituality, Diversity, and Community: Moving toward Belonging

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pp. 247-266

Being a part of a welcoming and inclusive community is a fundamental part of the vision and dreams of most people with disabilities and their families. Community inclusion and participation is a core value and mission of professional human service organizations, caregiving and support networks, advocacy groups, and, indeed, public policies. ...

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Conclusion: Restoring Wholeness--It Is about All of Us

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pp. 267-286

Recognizing, respecting, and supporting the spirituality of people with disabilities and everyone connected with them—in other words, everybody—is a vision and journey long overdue. So many of the lenses we use to understand human life and one another lead to assessing and judging differences rather than to an appreciation of the diversity of ...

Notes

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pp. 287-314

Bibliography

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pp. 315-332

Index

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pp. 333-338

Other Works in the Series

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