Human disability raises the hardest questions of human existence
and leads directly to the problem of causality--the underlying
intuition that someone, divine or human, must have been at
Christian theology has responded with almost singular attention
to Providence, the expression of divine will in the world as the
cause of all things. This preoccupation holds captive the Christian
imagination, leaving the Church ill equipped to engage the human
reality of disability. Theological reflection, argues Hans
Reinders, can arise only as a second-order activity that follows
after real attention to the experience of disability.
Disability, Providence, and Ethics offers a more excellent way
to address this difficult subject. Reinders guides readers away
from an identification of disability with tragedy--via lament--to
the possibility of theological hope and its expression of God's
presence. In particular, Reinders reconsiders two of the main
traditional sources in Christian thought about Providence, the
biblical text of Job and the theological work of John Calvin.
Throughout the book, first-person accounts of disability open up
biblical texts and Christian theology--rather than the other way
around. In the end, a theology of Providence begins with the
presence of the Spirit, not with the problem of causality.
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