Disability Studies Quarterly
Summer 2006, Volume 26, No. 3
Copyright 2006 by the Society
for Disability Studies

Editors' Introduction:
Religion, Spirituality, and Disability Studies

Gerry E. Hendershot, Ph.D.
Consultant on Disability and Health Statistics
4437 Wells Parkway
University Park MD 20782-1126
Email: ghendershot@earthlink.net

Nancy L. Eiesland
Associate Professor, Sociology of Religion
Candler School of Theology & Graduate Division of Religion
Emory University
13C Bishops Hall
Atlanta, GA 30322
Email: neiesla@emory.edu

Historically, relations between institutional religion and the disability community have been ambivalent, but religion and spirituality have continued to be important in the lives of many people with disabilities. Recently, institutional religion has begun to understand that the disability community is a source of theological insight and ethical praxis that can transform the faith community. Most faith groups have adopted inclusive policies and programs to reduce architectural, communication, and attitudinal barriers to participation by persons with disabilities. These efforts are supported by the U.S. Federal administration's major statement on disability policy, the "New Freedom Initiative," which includes access to religious participation in its promotion of "full access to community life."

Because of these developments, we believed the time was right for a re-examination in this journal of the relationship between disability studies and religion and spirituality. The response to our call for papers was enthusiastic and diverse, and after review and revisions, we are pleased to present ten original papers. Five of those papers appear in this issue of Disability Studies Quarterly, and the other five will appear in the next issue. The papers in this issue are from scholars in the fields of Education (Anderson, Bejoian), Occupational Therapy, (Vierkant, Hollingworth, and Stark), Theology (Betcher), and English (Mintz). They use qualitative and quantitative methods, address policy and theory, and include Western and Eastern religious traditions. Their differences in viewpoint create a healthy, dynamic tension that is good for disability studies.

Copyright (c) 2006 Gerry E. Hendershot, Nancy L. Eiesland

Volume 1 through Volume 20, no. 3 of Disability Studies Quarterly is archived on the Knowledge Bank site; Volume 20, no. 4 through the present can be found on this site under Archives.

Beginning with Volume 36, Issue No. 4 (2016), Disability Studies Quarterly is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives license unless otherwise indicated. 

Disability Studies Quarterly is published by The Ohio State University Libraries in partnership with the Society for Disability Studies.

If you encounter problems with the site or have comments to offer, including any access difficulty due to incompatibility with adaptive technology, please contact libkbhelp@lists.osu.edu.

ISSN: 2159-8371 (Online); 1041-5718 (Print)