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date: 26 June 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the ways images of disability liberation might reimagine the question of how we should live as people with disabilities. To do so, it offers a version of disability liberation theology that draws together the visual iconography of the mid-twentieth-century civil and human liberation movements and the theological tradition of the Catholic Marian tradition. To support this explication of disability liberation theology, the chapter reviews the history of liberty as a sociopolitical concept, the cultural work of images, the disability theology critique of Biblical healing narratives, the critique of a medical model of disability, disability liberation theology, and care ethics. The chapter concludes by putting forward images of interdependent bodily care in the early Marian tradition as potentially liberatory and a possible guide to disability justice. By portraying acts of bodily care as sacred rituals, these images suggest a theoretical armature to consider intimate body care as an affirmation rather than a diminishment of human dignity.

Keywords: liberation, liberation theology, disability, disability ethics, bioethics, care ethics, interdependence, healing narratives, Catholic Marian tradition, visual iconography, disability justice, civil and human liberation movements

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