Tom Shakespeare

Graceful Living

A Theological Diagnosis: A New Direction on Genetic Therapy, ‘Disability’ and the Ethic of Healing


Jessica Kingsley Publishers xxpp £25 order from our bookshop

This wide-ranging book takes the reader on an impassioned tour of disability studies, human genetics, bioethics and Christian theology, with the ambitious aim of overturning both traditional and radical thinking on these subjects. For Matt Edmonds, the goal for people with disabilities is to live a ‘graceful life – one where mental or physical differences do not preclude loving relationships, dignity and care’. He steers a careful path between those who consider disability a tragedy and those who insist that it is just another kind of embodiment. The Christian solution to disability has often been faith-healing, and nearly a quarter of the book is dedicated to analysing and rebutting this approach. 

The conventional answer to disability has been medicine, and genetic research now promises new possibilities, albeit often hyperbolic ones. The radical solution to disability is civil rights and barrier removal. While

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