A few years ago, Susan Windley-Daoust reached out to me about reviewing a chapter in her forth coming book Theology of the Body, Extended: The Spiritual Signs of Birth, Impairment and Dying.
For obvious reasons, she was interested in my thoughts on the chapter on “The Theology of the Impaired Body”. You can read a few excerpts and some of my thoughts at World Down Syndrome Day and the Cult of Normalcy.
It’s an excellent study of the images that the label of disability invokes, how the disabled have been treated throughout history, some shining examples of how the disabled should be viewed and treated, and finally on the limited nature of every human body and how it is a gift and a sign pointing to God.
The messiah has consented to a way of limitation, of embodiment that can be bound, injured and killed as the way to define ‘the man.’
“When we see or experience limitation, even impairment, we should not think, ‘behold, the monster,’ but rather ‘behold, the man’ (John 19:5). The incarnation of Christ and his passion is the ‘norm,’ not anything defined by the cult of normalcy.
I’m happy to say that her book has finally been published and is available for purchase! Susan is still offering some signed copies at a discounted price through her website. The paperback book is also available via Lectio Publishing, through Amazon, and for order through your local bookstore. It’s available in e-book format on iTunes.
It’s a little pricy, but definitely worth it for the TOB enthusiast. The description from Amazon reads:
Pope John Paul II expected theologians to expand their insights of the 129 lectures given during his Wednesday audiences in St. Peter’s Square and Paul VI Audience Hall between September 1979 and November 1984. However, his integrated vision of the human person – body, soul, and spirit – has rarely gone beyond the popular topics of moral theology associated with sexuality and marriage. Now, Susan Windley-Daoust, a passionate disciple of John Paul’s complete work, devoted spiritual director, and popular Assistant Professor of Theology at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota, extends the Theology of the Body to what it means to be human during the experiences of childbirth, impairment, and dying. Are there spiritual signs in these bodily events that are central to the human experience? Oh yes! And the signs mysteriously and wonderfully point to God.
The TOB is WAY more than just sex an marriage. It’s so nice to see so many authors having a little different discussion about the TOB than we’ve seen in recent years!
If you do read it, be sure to help out the author and publisher by leaving a review on Amazon. Windley-Daoust’s next project is A Spirituality of Childbirth: a theology of the birthing body.