Naomi Lawson Jacobs deposited Speaking With Us, Not For Us: Neurodiversity, Theology and Justice in the group Religious Studies on Humanities Commons 4 months, 1 week ago
To belong in the Christian tradition, we must be able to contribute to it. Yet neurodivergent Christians have rarely been enabled to tell our own stories about ourselves as a vital part of God’s (neuro)diverse creation. In common with other autism research, academic theology is framed by pathologizing clinical paradigms of autism; neurodivergent people’s situated knowledge about ourselves has not always been valued in the field. In this aut-ethnography, I use reflections from a decade of engaging with autism theology – often a painful experience of Othering – to frame a response informed by critical autism and neurodiversity studies. Drawing on lived theology from autistic research participants, I consider what our neurodiversity theologies have to offer to academic theology. Finally, I ask how theologians can do justly by speaking with, not for, neurodivergent people.
[Preprint submitted to the Journal of Disability & Religion special issue on neurodiversity and theological education]