Human dignity and the profoundly disabled: a theological perspective

Matthews, Pia (2011) Human dignity and the profoundly disabled: a theological perspective. Human Reproduction and Genetic Ethics, 17 (2). pp. 185-203. ISSN 1028-7825

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1558/hrge.v17i2.185

Abstract

One challenge to the concept of human dignity is that it is a rootless notion invoked simply to mask inequalities that inevitably exist between human beings. This privileging of humans is speciesist and its weak point is the profoundly disabled human being. This article argues that far from being a weak point, the profoundly disabled person is a source of strength and witness to the intrinsic dignity that all human beings have by virtue of being human. The disabled represent the reality of human existence that is both strong and fragile. Although human dignity can be understood philosophically its depth is rooted in Christian theological insights. The profoundly disabled occupy a privileged position and share in a theology of mission since they testify to the interdependence of every human being and human dependence on God to a myopic world that only values strength, autonomy and independence.

Item Type: Journal Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human dignity -- Disabled -- Equality -- Mission -- Speciesism --Theology
Subjects: 200 Religion > 201 Religious mythology & social theology
School/Department: School of Education, Theology and Leadership
Depositing User: Catherine O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 24 Jun 2013 14:56
Last Modified: 24 Jun 2013 14:56
URI: http://research.stmarys.ac.uk/id/eprint/412

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