Living in the Body: Disability as an Opportunity for Welcoming the Other

Життя в тілі: інвалідність як нагода прийняти іншого

29.07-3.08

Zoom


According to statistics of United Nations approximately 15% of the world's population, or about 1 billion people, live with disabilities. Despite significant shifts in the way we view disability that have occurred over the past thirty years in history, politics, and the social sciences, in many societies, people with disabilities continue to be charity cases with limited access to education and work. Ukraine is no exception. In the Ukrainian context, however, the situation is complicated by the Great War: in the last two years of the full-scale war, more than 20,000 men and women suffered at least one amputation. Some sources cite a much higher number – 50,000 people. The suffering of people with disabilities is exacerbated by the country's low economic standard of living and limited medical system. In addition, various communities, including Christian ones, overlook people with disabilities due to a variety of prejudices. This is also a result of the fact that Christian theology is seldom written from the perspective of people with disabilities. The result of this marginalization is that any form of disability, whether physical or mental, makes a person flawed in the Christian view.

Deviations from the ideal and beautiful creation in the "image of God" are stigmatized as sin and curse and thus become a cause of shame in society, in the church, or in the family. For this reason, persons with disabilities are often excluded from the life and practice of Christian communities, especially where the understanding of inclusiveness is reduced to the need to quickly cure their "abnormality." The church's focus on disability as a problem of impairment to be cured fails to recognize that the presence and active participation of persons with disabilities in ministry can be a gift of healing for the church community itself and its practices of hospitality, where no one, regardless of ability, feels excluded or unwanted.

Recognizing that most theological institutions and religious communities do not pay due attention to disability issues, the Eastern European Institute of Theology is organizing a Summer School on the Theology of Disability. We hope that this school will be a small step towards creating communities of healing and unity in diversity because life in the body of Christ is not only about belonging to a community but also about living with different people gifted with different abilities with which we learn to serve each other.

Featured Speakers 2024

The Summer School of Theology will host theologians, philosophers, religious scholars of various Christian traditions, as well as representatives of various religious movements, public personas, and cultural influencers.

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School Schedule 2024

Simultaneous Ukrainian translation of all English lectures will be provided.

29 липня

2 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
1 pm (CEST)
7 am (EDT New York time)

4 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
3 pm (CEST)
9 am (EDT New York time)

6 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
5 pm (CEST)
11 am (EDT New York time)

30 липня

2 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
1 pm (CEST)
7 am (EDT New York time)

4 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
3 pm (CEST)
9 am (EDT New York time)

6 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
5 pm (CEST)
11 am (EDT New York time)

July 31

2 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
1 pm (CEST)
7 am (EDT New York time)

4 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
3 pm (CEST)
9 am (EDT New York time)

6 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
5 pm (CEST)
11 am (EDT New York time)

August 1

2 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
1 pm (CEST)
7 am (EDT New York time)

4 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
3 pm (CEST)
9 am (EDT New York time)

6 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
5 pm (CEST)
11 am (EDT New York time)

August 2

2 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
1 pm (CEST)
7 am (EDT New York time)

4 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
3 pm (CEST)
9 am (EDT New York time)

6 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
5 pm (CEST)
11 am (EDT New York time)

August 3

2 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
1 pm (CEST)
7 am (EDT New York time)

4 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
3 pm (CEST)
9 am (EDT New York time)

6 pm (EEST Kyiv time)
5 pm (CEST)
11 am (EDT New York time)

To Participate in the School, You Need

Для участі у школі потрібно заповнити реєстраційну форму до 25 липня 2024 року. Зареєстровані учасники отримають детальну інформацію щодо участі у школі не пізніше 27 липня 2024 року.

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The work of our Institute would not be possible without your generous support and faith in our joint efforts. Your help today is a hope for the future of quality theological education in Ukraine.