Countering Ableism through Embodiments of the Gospel: The Roles of Practice and Reflection

 

Editor's Note: This article originally appeared in the Volume 25, Number 4, Winter 2018 issue of Dignitas, the Center’s quarterly publication. Subscriptions to Dignitas are available to CBHD Members. To learn more about the benefits of becoming a member click here. Translated by Mario Tafferner.

 

1. Introduction: The Social Construction of Disability

What do we do when we reflect on the human experience of living with a disability? As straightforward as the answer to this question might seem, it really is a highly complex matter. The emergence of and developments within the academic field of disability studies testify to this complexity. Disability studies as a discipline originates in the 1960s and 1970s, and can be understood as a result of three key insights. First, there was a growing awareness of the ways in which people with disabilities were disadvantaged in society, apart from their given physical or intellectual impairment. Second, it became clear that although the denominator “people with disabilities” signifies a group that is in many ways too diverse to be called a group, the fact that all members of this group bear the label “disabled” entails that in some sense they do form a group—more specifically, a minority group. Third, as a combination of the previous two insights, disability was increasingly understood as a social phenomenon, rather than a problem of the impaired individual.[1] This story of the genesis of disability studies complexifies our understanding of disability: it is not a problem of individuals, asking for mere reflection on the medical, ethical, or psychological issues people with disabilities and their immediate loved ones face. Rather, it is a socio-political phenomenon that prompts reflection on the way our societies are structured.

The insights developed by disability studies have led to the formulation of a number of models of disability. These models each conceptualize disability in different ways and therefore guide reflection in different directions as well. This is most easily explained with the example of the two most well-known and opposite models of disability: the medical and the social model.[2] These models are sometimes illustrated by a telling cartoon.[3] In the cartoon, we see a woman in a wheelchair at the bottom of a large staircase. A sign reads: “Way in, everyone welcome!” An arrow on the sign points upwards. The medical model suggests the woman must be cured in some way, or maybe she should be given robotic prosthetic legs, so she can walk up the stairs by herself. The social model, on the other hand, suggests that it is not so much the woman’s impairment that is the problem here, but the fact that somebody wrote that all are welcome, without realizing not all can reach the room; the stairs are the problem. In a primarily medical conceptualization of disability, solutions for problems surrounding disability are imagined mostly on the level of “curing” or “enhancing” the individual. Within a social conceptualization, solutions are sought in a much wider range. Instead of changing the individual, might it be possible to change the setting in such a way that space emerges for this individual as she currently is to participate? Much current policy-making regarding disability works from a social model of disability, and is therefore focused on creating inclusive societies, where people with disabilities participate in social life just as much as any other citizen.[4]

If the social model was an adequate way to understand disability, then these changes in policy should inaugurate a kind of utopian world for people with disabilities and, in fact, for everyone. Inclusion must then be the solution! However, as many disability scholars have concluded, unfortunately, it is not that simple. The terrain of disability studies has therefore shifted from a more advocacy-based approach towards deep reflection on the kinds of structures and thought systems that perpetuate the disadvantagement of people with disabilities. These are understood as “ableism” or “normalcy.”[5]

The Australian ethicist Jayne Clapton has differentiated between different levels of inclusion as a way to understand why inclusive policy-making is not always the solution to the problems people with disabilities face in society. The first level is a state of exclusion, the status quo, so to speak. The second level is the level of technical inclusion, where inclusive policies like sending all children to regular schools are implemented. The third level is the legislative level, where these inclusive policies are no longer optional, but become mandatory and have to live up to certain enforceable standards. At this third level, it is possible that all children go to the same schools—their parents can even sue the schools if this is not the case. Yet there is no guarantee that children with disabilities aren’t bullied at school, or simply misunderstood. This is where Clapton introduces a fourth level: the ethical level. On this level, motivations and attitudes are addressed.[6] These levels underline the complexity of reflecting on disability: not only are we reflecting on a social phenomenon rather than an individual experience that should be “cured,” we must also study the underlying beliefs and assumptions, or social imaginary, of this phenomenon. To make matters even more complex, we must not only study this social imaginary but also reflect on how it can be influenced for the better.

As many scholars have observed, it is remarkable that the communitarian language of inclusion is used in a day and age when neoliberalism reigns over much of the western world.[7] Neoliberalism constitutes much of what scholars have identified as “ableism” and “normalcy.” The idea of individual autonomy and responsibility, the valuing of life in mostly economic terms, and the primacy of cognitive capacities, to name a few examples—all of these disadvantage people with (at least intellectual) disabilities. Disability scholar Trevor Parmenter therefore suggests we need “ethical communities” where this social imaginary is challenged and an alternative is lived out.[8] Theologian Tom Reynolds makes similar observations about the dangerous sides of neoliberalism for people with disabilities and concludes that a powerful antidote is for the church to live a radically different and inclusive life together. Reynolds speaks about “the ideal church,” even as the reality and experience church is often different.[9] Although it must be said that Christianity historically has contributed to the current “cult of normalcy,”[10] it is also true that the Gospel provides a powerful alternative way of thinking about the value of life, human worth, and the nature and purpose of communities. Could churches become the kind of “ethical communities” for which Parmenter longs? Could churches be places where people with disabilities are not only tolerated because this happens to be the (inclusive) law of the land, but where they can truly belong?

In the remainder of this article, we will explore this question by looking at a case study of Heart of Vathorst (HVV), Vathorst being a neighborhood in the Dutch town of Amersfoort.[11] HVV is a co-op comprised of an inclusive day care center for children of all abilities, a number of disability service providers, including residential facilities for about 100 individuals with varying disabilities (ranging from elderly people with dementia to young adults with intellectual disabilities), and a church: Encounter Church. The church used to be a “typical congregation” before it joined HVV and had no specific interest in the phenomenon of disability. However, when joining HVV, it decided to become a community in which all involved would not just share a roof but also their lives. They framed this desire in terms of striving to become more inclusive. We will study HVV and the church in particular against the backdrop of the surrounding society. While case studies are characterized by their contextual nature, nonetheless, much will be familiar to readers in their own contexts. This makes it possible to learn from case studies, even if generalization in a strict sense is not possible.[12] We will then offer some concluding reflections on the case, and specifically deal with the question of what the roles of practice and reflection are.

2. Case Study: An Embodied Christian Practice of Inclusion in Context

In its quest to become more inclusive, HVV and Encounter Church are influenced by larger societal dynamics: their macro context to which they try to respond. It is not possible to give a full account of the macro context, as that would mean we would have to paint a portrait of the twenty-first century Western world as a whole, and the Netherlands in particular. Instead, we will focus on elements of the macro context that explicitly appeared in the data gathered for my doctoral research. The macro context is not just an abstract and distant reality. Within the context of this research, for example, we encountered the macro context when political figures from the local authorities or the national government visited HVV and reflected on their experiences in the media. From their interest in this project and the way they spoke about it, we can gain significant insights into how HVV and Encounter Church are situated within their macro context.

When HVV officially opened its doors with a public celebration on September 30, 2016, mayor Lucas Bolsius of Amersfoort was present to conduct the official opening ceremony.[13] When asked to reflect on the values driving this project, Bolsius clearly avoided religious language and spoke about the universal human need for connection to others.[14] Apparently the project nonetheless left an impression on him because when he later hosted a visit from King Willem Alexander of the Netherlands to the city of Amersfoort, he referred to HVV and invited one of the founders of HVV to share something about the unique role of the church within HVV and the larger neighborhood.[15] More political attention for HVV came in the form of a visit by the Dutch secretary of state Hugo de Jonge, who is responsible for health care. He visited HVV and spoke widely about his visit in talk shows and interviews.[16] De Jonge posted the following on his Facebook page after his visit: “Everything in Heart of Vathorst is as normal as possible, and exactly that is what makes it so exceptionally special.”[17]  When he launched a campaign to recruit new workers for healthcare weeks later, he referred to the way care and living together were organized in HVV and used a picture of one of the professionals who works in HVV as one of the faces of the campaign.[18]

These examples of the mayor, the secretary of state, and the King’s attention to HVV, the subsequent media exposure as well as the attested impression their experiences with HVV left on them. They give us insight into how HVV is situated within larger dynamics in Dutch society regarding societal organization, healthcare, and how politicians think about the strength of communities. When we study the interactions between HVV and its macro context more in-depth, we can conclude that in some ways HVV seems to go with the grain of some societal dynamics. In a sense, the mayor and the secretary of state are very happy with what’s going on in Vathorst because it proves their points about how healthcare, for example, should be organized. There are other aspects of the project that go against the grain: they cause uneasiness or avoidance. In the following subparagraphs we will discuss some of the ways in which HVV both fits within the macro context naturally, and at the same time seems to be a counter movement to aspects of the macro context.

2.1 Going with the Grain

HVV fits very well in the societal developments with regards to disability inclusion that we described in the introduction. When the partners of HVV wrote their vision statement, they explicitly connected their plans to recent developments in Dutch society:

Health care in the Netherlands is going through a sea change. The classic welfare state is depleted and the government is taking a step back in many areas. Care providers are facing great challenges. They have to change the way they work, and do it for less money. The role of civic society, too, receives much attention. How do Christians respond, now that the government places much responsibility in networks in society? In Amersfoort-Vathorst, we want to realize a new way of living together: extraordinarily considerate.[19] As a church, a day care center for children, and two care providers we have found each other in the desire to combine encountering, growing, believing, and living together. We dream of a place in this neighborhood where everyone is welcome, and every talent is seen and honored. In this place our residents, fellow Vathorsters, volunteers, and professionals live and work together, seeking for new ways of taking care of one another.[20]

It comes as no surprise that representatives of the government, local or national, mentioned in this vision statement are quite enthusiastic about this part of HVV’s vision. It seems to go with the grain of policy and developments in Dutch society that resonate with developments in many other Western countries. The responsibility of citizens to shape the good life together is highlighted, leaving lots of room for individual initiatives. HVV was mentioned in the media as one such initiative among others.[21] Secretary of state De Jonge calls HVV “an example of how it can be done, because there are multiple shapes that work. At its root, it is all about more attention and time for each other. For people in care homes, too, normal life should continue as much as possible.”[22]

HVV goes with the grain of developments in the macro context with its focus on personal attention and locality. It clearly presents itself as one possible solution for challenges that arise in the context of the transition from a classical welfare state to a participation society and is recognized as such. It also employs the language of inclusion that is used by politicians in the Netherlands and internationally as a motivational drive behind this transition.

2.2 Going against the Grain

It is precisely in the understanding of what living together in an inclusive manner really means, though, that HVV is also going against the grain of developments in the macro context. Governmental legislation, for example, meant that a number of elements in the original plans could not be realized, like the development of a swimming pool for residents and others in the neighborhood. Because the building was co-financed with a social housing organization that rents out its space to the care providers, this plan had to be terminated as legislation forbids these organizations to invest in anything other than living space.[23] This legal issue had an impact on some of the plans the developers of HVV had: the pool could have been a place of creative encounters, being both a place for people from the neighborhood to swim, and a place where some residents could receive physical therapy and exercise. Legislation continues to stand in the way of how the partners want to cooperate and shape inclusive ways of living together. For example: the daycare center likes to visit the elderly residents with dementia. This provides a chance for the “grandfathers and grandmothers” to read stories to the children, and to do all kinds of activities together. It is these kinds of interactions that HVV wants to enable based on a conviction that such interactions are wholesome for all who are involved. This seems to harmonize well with the government’s ideas about an inclusive society. However, safety regulations often make it difficult if not impossible to arrange such interaction legally as the doors between the daycare facilities and the living space of the residents need to remain locked.

The examples mentioned above might seem quite harmless. But the level of legislation is not the only level on which the practices of HVV sometimes go against the grain. In fact, it seems that the conflicts on that level are symptomatic of a deeper question: are the values that drive society and politics compatible with inclusion? And what is really meant by inclusion in the first place? In the introduction, we noticed how ethicist Luke Bretherton and others call attention to the dubious relation between neoliberal political systems and inclusion language. In Vathorst, we can witness this dubious relation in practice. Elements of Western society that work to exclude groups of people are often explicitly addressed: prioritizing of rationality, valuing people in terms of economic worth, and high demands when it comes to productivity and success. These aspects all exclude people with intellectual disabilities and to a large degree disadvantage people with physical disabilities as well. However, as is often said in Encounter Church, these elements are unhealthy for every human being, regardless of (dis)ability. In this sense, HVV is going against the grain of its macro context.

2.3 Ambiguity in Relation to Macro Context

Although there are clear ways in which HVV and Encounter Church go both with and against the grain, there are also instances in which there is a kind of duality in how they relate to the macro context. On the one hand, alternative values are explicitly laid out. For example, instead of living for economic worth, people are valued because they are made in the image of God. Such a statement can be heard in sermons in Encounter Church, but it is also part of the daily experience of some church members, like church member Sam, who, in his own words, finds more fulfillment in discovering all that he can learn from one resident in HVV than in his monthly bonus at work.[24] However, it is clear that Encounter Church is not a safe haven in which the surrounding culture does not play a part. For example, I noted during many of my observations of committee meetings and other more public events in HVV how much the setting reminded me of corporate culture, complete with expensive cars, tailor-made suits, and an atmosphere of seeing and being seen.[25]

Encounter Church hence does not relate to the macro context in an unanimous fashion. A model developed by Helen Cameron, Deborah Bhatti, and Catherine Duce might help to grasp this ambiguity. In their Talking About God in Practice, they propose understanding theology as a conversation in which four voices can be distinguished: a normative voice (e.g., Scripture, doctrines that are normative within a given tradition), a formal voice (the theology of the theologians), an espoused voice (the theology that believers themselves express), and the operant voice (the theology that speaks from the actions of believers and communities).[26]

An uncomfortable but clear example of how these voices can sometimes disagree can be seen in one traumatic event for HVV and Encounter Church in particular. One of the residents of HVV, who was not a Christian herself but had an important place in the life of HVV and was also a regular visitor of church services at Encounter Church, decided to pursue euthanasia. She felt her traumatic brain injury had ruined her life to such an extent that she did not find it valuable to live anymore. Her death came as a shock to many, especially to the other residents. In this unexpected situation, people were clearly in search of language that fit the situation. On the one hand, some felt that this resident had made a brave choice, taking matters into her own hands. Such a sentiment fits well with what is commonly accepted in the Netherlands. However, the formal and normative theologies within Encounter Church clearly point in a very different direction: life is a gift and should be received as such. Those in leadership were also concerned about what an explicit approval of this resident’s choice might mean for other residents who were, medically speaking, worse off than. For reasons of privacy, I will not delve into this example much deeper than this general description. Yet this example clearly shows how values that are commonly accepted in the macro context have an impact in HVV, even if their own values are very different. There is no hard border between the church, or a Christian community like HVV, and the world. This observation shows that there is clearly a difference between the normative and formal theologies and the espoused theology. In this example, the espoused theology seems to be influenced heavily by the macro context with its appreciation of individual autonomy. There can be apparent inconsistencies in the espoused theology: on the one hand approving and even almost praising the decision to commit euthanasia, while on the other hand being against it from an ethical point of view.[27]

There are other situations in which HVV, Encounter Church, and individual members do clearly speak with one voice against developments in the macro context. A clear example is the interaction with debates about prenatal testing for Down syndrome and consequent abortion of babies with the syndrome, which has become a widely accepted practice in the Netherlands as it has in other parts of Western Europe. Dutch philosopher Marcel Zuijderland wrote a book in which he argued that with current prenatal tests, it is irresponsible to let babies with severe disabilities be born because their life is not economically profitable for society. He considers Down syndrome to be a severe disability.[28] Zuijderland’s book was met with criticism by, amongst others, a mother of one of HVV’s residents who has Down syndrome. In an open letter in the newspaper, she wrote about how hard it is for her as a parent to have to justify her son’s existence. By pointing to the examples of Denmark and Iceland, where almost no babies with Down syndrome are born anymore, she sketches how it becomes increasingly expected to test and abort, leading to the feeling one has to justify the “choice” to let the baby be born. She thus writes about her son:

Our son does not smoke, he does not use drugs, he rides his bike or uses public transportation. He does not curse nor does he discriminate. He doesn’t post rude tweets. He is not a hacker and does not create insulting vlogs. He doesn’t have dollar signs in his eyes. He has good teeth and never had to wear dental braces. He’s never been committed to the hospital. He gives us loads of love and made us more beautiful people.[29]

Many people from HVV responded to this mother’s response with approval and encouragement. When Pastor Joost Smit preached about the sixth commandment (thou shalt not murder) a few months later, he invited the mother to interview her about her experience that had led her to write this open letter.[30]

This uniform stance against the normality of aborting children with Down syndrome shows how HVV is clearly going against the grain of aspects of the macro context. On this issue, people involved in HVV find in each other a common conviction, shaped by the Gospel. Undoubtedly, that is the deepest reason why HVV goes against the grain of the macro context in certain areas. It is also the reason that the politicians we introduced at the beginning of our description of the macro context sometimes experience uneasiness with the exact role of the church in HVV. The Netherlands are a highly secularized country, as a recent study by the Netherlands Institute for Social Research confirms: only 31% of the Dutch population consider themselves a member of some kind of religious community. This number is quickly declining. This reduced involvement with religion also causes distrust towards religious organizations and declining knowledge and understanding of religious traditions. The report shows that at the same time, religious organizations are indispensable for civic society at the moment: 48% of committed church members regularly do volunteer work, compared to 28% of the average population.[31] There is a clear issue here: on the one hand, churches are needed for their social capital. On the other hand, their potential in terms of numbers and understanding by outsiders, including those in the government, is declining. This issue became more relevant towards the end of my data collection period. A non-Christian organization partnered with HVV to manage the restaurant which is located in its building, represents a work place for many residents, and serves as a meeting space for people in the neighborhood. Their participation brings to the fore tensions that come with working with a specifically Christian motivation. Such tensions are not felt only in relation to the context, but become a reality to deal with in everyday decision-making in HVV.[32]

3. Concluding Reflections

As the case study shows, HVV fits naturally in the macro context in many ways: it is in line with societal trends of valuing the power of local communities over state-organized support. It also intentionally connects its practices to these trends, for example, by using the terminology of inclusion. At the same time, HVV goes against the grain of elements of the macro context on a number of levels. At the root, the tension between the macro context and HVV can be explained by pointing to the explicit Christian motivation of HVV in a highly secularized context. The Gospel presents an alternative way of valuing human life and an alternative way of thinking about community.

This alternative way is discerned as it is lived out. It is through actual encounters that people are changed in their perceptions. This presents a challenge for ethicists. How many ethicists can claim that in response to a book or article in which they criticized neoliberalism, someone said their monthly bonus at work was really less worth his while than spending time with a friend who happened to have an intellectual disability? These things happen at HVV. People realize that the pressure that is put on citizens by the idea that life is a choice is crushing and in fact deadly for many. Once again, how many ethicists succeed in communicating this to an audience as large and diverse as Encounter Church, and on a level that truly has an impact on people’s lives? Stanley Hauerwas writes in reflection on the L’Arche communities that they are not an idea put into practice, but that they are a set of practices, flowing from a simple desire to follow Christ, which in turn stirs reflection, leading to concepts and ideas.[33] In the introduction to this article, we saw how significant concepts, ideas, and social imaginaries may be in relation to disability. The immediate response to this might be to design counter-imaginaries, based on the Gospel. However, as our exploration of HVV shows, and in line with Hauerwas’s argument, it seems to be more promising to start by doing rather than by reflecting theologically, ethically, or otherwise.

Nonetheless, the case of HVV also shows the necessity of ongoing fundamental reflection on issues surrounding disability. As the uneasy example of Encounter Church’s mixed response to a case of euthanasia shows, the alternative way of the Gospel is not always clear to people. Partly, this is a lasting element of the life of the church. Tensions between the different voices of theology and the surrounding context are not only inevitable, they are also potentially very fruitful, as they raise challenging questions. However, this does call for faithful practices of leadership to identify tensions between the different voices and address them. In this, the help of Christian ethicists is indispensable. In the model of four voices, the field of Christian ethics is part of the formal voice. In situations like the ones we described in our case study, this voice is important as it may mediate between the normative voice and the espoused voice. The questions that Christians face today are often not directly addressed in the normative voice. Yet, if ethicists do their work well, they are addressed in the formal voice. A multidisciplinary approach in which, for example, practical theologians and ethicists work together in identifying key questions and answering them, informed by elements from the other voices, is hence of tantamount importance for faithful Christian practice in response to the experience of disability. As I have argued, it is essential that this reflection is not limited to a medical and individual perspective, but that the social context of (or: which constitutes) disability is reflected upon, including the imaginaries supporting this social context.

 

References


[1] Alan Roulstone, Carol Thomas, and Nick Watson, “The Changing Terrain of Disability Studies,” in Routledge Handbook of Disability Studies, ed. Nick Watson, Alan Roulstone, and Carol Thomas (London: Routledge, 2014), 3.

[2] There are more than just these two models, Marno Retief and Rantoa Letšosa count as many as nine models. Recently, models like the cultural and identity model have gained popularity. However, for the sake of clarity, I only use the social and medical model here, because the differences between them prove that it matters which model one uses. Cf. Marno Retief and Rantoa Letšosa, “Models of Disability: A Brief Overview,” HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies 74, no. 1 (2018): 8.

[4] A more in-depth treatment of how the word inclusion functions in current day policy-making in society and the church can be found in: K.S. Tamminga, J.H.F. Schaeffer, and John Swinton, “Potential Roles of Churches and Ecclesiology for Disability Inclusion,” International Journal of Practical Theology, forthcoming.

[5] Roulstone, Thomas, and Watson, “The Changing Terrain of Disability Studies,” 4.

[6] Jayne Clapton, A Transformatory Ethic of Inclusion: Rupturing Concepts of Disability and Inclusion (Boston: Sense Publishers, 2008).

[7] E.g., Luke Bretherton, Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness (Chichester, West Sussex, U.K.: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), 32–37.

[8] Trevor R. Parmenter, “Inclusion and Quality of Life: Are We There Yet?” Public Health Journal 6, no. 4 (2014): 413–428.

[9] Thomas E. Reynolds, Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality (Grand Rapids: Brazos Press, 2008), chapters 3, 7.

[10] Kevin Timpe, Disability and Inclusive Communities (Grand Rapids: Calvin College Press, 2019), chapter 2.

[11] The case study presented here is part of a larger case study of HVV, which forms the basis for my PhD thesis. In this thesis, I also elaborate on the chosen methodology, which consisted of interviews, document studies, and participatory observations. The data were analyzed from an ethnographic and grounded-theory perspective. Within the scope of this article, there is no room to discuss the methodology in more detail.

[12] John Swinton and Harriet Mowat speak about this as “resonance,” which according to them is often more transformative than theoretically generalized knowledge. John Swinton and Harriet Mowatt, Practical Theology and Qualitative Research (London: SCM Press, 2006), 47.

[13] “Complex Met Gkv Kerk Vathorst in Gebruik,” Reformatorisch Dagblad, September 28, 2016.

[14] Fieldnotes, September 30, 2016.

[15] Tirza van der Graaf and Debora Dijkstra, “Heden En Geschiedenis in Eemland,” Nederlands Dagblad, October 25, 2017.

[16] Hilbert Meijer, “‘Trots Is Terug in Verpleeghuizen,’” Nederlands Dagblad, January 30, 2018.

[17] Hugo de Jonge, “Everything in Heart of Vathorst is as normal as possible,” Facebook, January 29, 2018, https://www.facebook.com/hugodejongeVWS/posts/1085945771546575 (author’s translation).

[18] Hugo de Jonge, Facebook, February 5, 2018.

[19] The working title for the project was Buitengewoon Zorgzaam or “extraordinarily considerate” (or “caring”). It was later changed to Hart van Vathorst (Heart of Vathorst).

[20] Vision Statement HVV, April 1, 2014 (author’s translation).

[21] E.g., on the daily talk show 1 Vandaag, April 14, 2017 and in late night news show Nieuwsuur, December 19, 2018.

[22] Meijer, “Trots in Verpleeghuizen.”

[23] Meijer, “Trots in Verpleeghuizen.”

[24] Interview with B13, April 4, 2018.

[25] Fieldnotes, September 30, 2016; November 27, 2016; January 23, 2017.

[26] Helen Cameron, Deborah Bhatti, and Catherine Duce, Talking About God in Practice: Theological Action Research and Practical Theology (London: SCM Press, 2010).

[27] Fieldnotes March 11, 2018; Interview with C3, February 12, 2018.

[28] Marcel Zuijderland, Gentest of geen test? (Amsterdam University Press, 2017); Aaldert van Soest, “Mensverbetering Is Hét Debat van de 21e Eeuw,” Nederlands Dagblad, October 6, 2017.

[29] Jolanda Wolff, “Waarom Mijn Down-Zoon Er Is?” Nederlands Dagblad, September 21, 2017.

[30] Observation notes November 12, 2017.

[31] Joep de Hart and Pepijn van Houwelingen, “Christenen in Nederland: Kerkelijke Deelname En Christelijke Gelovigheid” (Den Haag: Sociaal en Cultureel Planbureau, 2018).

[32] Conversation with C3, January 28, 2019.

[33] Stanley Hauerwas, “Seeing Peace: L’Arche as a Peace Movement,” in The Paradox of Disability: Responses to Jean Vanier and L’Arche Communities from Theology and the Sciences, ed. Hans S. Reinders (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2010), 113–126.

 

Cite as: K. S. Tamminga, “Countering Ableism through Embodiments of the Gospel: The Roles of Practice and Reflection,” Dignitas 25, no. 4 (2018): 3–9.

 

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