Seminar on theology and disability – UKU / UCLille – Fall semester 2022


« Disability theology is the attempt by disabled and non-disabled Christians to understand and interpret the gospel of Jesus Christ, God, and humanity against the backdrop of the historical and contemporary experiences of people with disabilities. It has come to refer to a variety of perspectives and methods designed to give voice to the rich and diverse theological meanings of the human experience of disability . » In this research seminar nine renowned lecturers from several theological disciplines will give a comprehensive insight in how disability theology can help make sense of a decisively shaken world. « Disability theology » is a recent field in theological enquiry that changes – at times quite radically – the way (Christian) theologians perceive God and the way believers experience faith. But can it also bring about societal change in a war-struck country? Can it be like leaven in the construction of God’s Kingdom (Lk 13, 21)? Theology definitely has a role to play in constructing paradigms, identifying processes of accommodation, justifying conflicts, promoting change, and driving understanding – what role might ‘disability theologies’ have in this? In this seminar, students are invited to formulate responses fueled by the insights of disability theologies.

[1] John Swinton, « Disability theology » in Ian Mcfarland, David Fergusson, Karen Kilby, et al. (éd.), The Cambridge Dictionary of Christian Theology, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2011.

[1] Talitha Cooreman-guittin, Armand Léon Van Ommen, « Disability theology: a driving force for change? », International Journal for the Study of the Christian Church  (2022/0), Routledge, p. 1‑4.


The seminar will be entirely on-line. Each session consists of :

  • 50 minutes lecture
  • 20 minutes debat in full groupe
  • 30 minutes exchanges in break-out rooms

Students will be required to read six articles that will be commented during the course. The list of articles will be published in September 2022.



Each session starts at 4pm (Paris Time) and lasts until 6pm.
3rd of October 2022

Lecturer : Talitha Cooreman-Guittin (UCLille)

Acquired disability: a Christian approach
10th of October 2022

Lecturer : Gordon Temple

The moral worth of a scar
17th of October 2022

Lecturer : Mic Erohubie (Unistra)

Disability ethics and health-care: Becoming whole in a broken body
7th of November 2022

Lecturer : Devan Stahl (Baylor University)

NoBody is a stranger: accompaniment in times of trouble, sharing wisdom from creative communicators and Edith Stein.
14th of November 2022

Lecturer : Cristina Gangemi (Roehampton University, Director Kairos Forum)

A Theology of Hope for Resilience in Trauma - Insights from Disability Theology
21st of November 2022

Lecturer : Pia Matthews (St Mary’s University)

Healing in the Way of Jesus: Disability and the Holistic Approach of the Gospels
28th of November 2022

Lecturer : Bethany McKinney-Fox (Founder Beloved Everybody) & Kevin Vollrath (Princeton Theological Seminary

Finding Healing: Mental health during a time of war – insights from trauma-theology
5th of December 2022

Lecturer : John Swinton / Katie Cross (UAberdeen)

Old Testament studies : women and disability in the Hebrew Bible
12th of December 2022

Lecturers : Catherine Vialle / Talitha Cooreman-Guittin (UCLille)

Selected bibliography


  • Brian Brock, John Swinton, Disability in the Christian Tradition: A Reader B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2012 ;
  • Devan Stahl, « Reimagining the Healing Service », Theology Today 77 (2020/2), SAGE Publications Ltd, p. 165‑178 ;
  • Bethany McKinney-fox, John Swinton, Disability and the Way of Jesus: Holistic Healing in the Gospels and the Church, 1 edition, Downers Grove, IVP Academic, 2019 ;
  • Gordon Temple, Lin Ball, Enabling church: a Bible-based resource towards the full inclusion of disabled people, 2012 ;
  • Cristina Gangemi, « For The Wonder of Who I Am, I Praise You! », Journal of Disability & Religion 20 (2016/4), p. 352‑360 ;
  • Pia Matthews, God’s Wild Flowers: Saints with Disabilities, Gracewing Publishing, 2016;
  • John Swinton, Finding Jesus in the Storm: The Spiritual Lives of Christians with Mental Health Challenges, Grand Rapids, Eerdmans, 2020;
  • Talitha Cooreman-guittin, « Could Adam and Eve Have Been Disabled? Images of Creation in Catholic Religious Education Textbooks in France », Journal of Disability & Religion 22 (2017/1), p. 89‑95.