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Imperfection in Paradise: Reading Genesis 2 through the Lens of Disability and a Theology of Limits

In: Horizons in Biblical Theology
Author:
Joel D. Estes Princeton Theological Seminary 201 Loetscher Pl. #117, Princeton, nj 08540 USA joel.estes@ptsem.edu

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Genesis 2 has been interpreted from many angles, but rarely through the lens of disability studies. Such a reading, however, provides a necessary corrective to interpretations that import into the text idealistic notions of bodily perfection and thereby inadvertently disenfranchise those with disabilities. By attending to the range of bodily experiences and the fluidity of embodied existence, this article seeks to shed new light on Genesis 2 and on the wider task of theological anthropology. More specifically, reading Genesis 2 with and for those with disabilities lifts up three essential themes in the text that all express human limitation as a good aspect of God’s creation: embodiment, imperfection, and relationship.

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