Scripture and the Disabled: Redeeming Mephibosheth's Identity

in Journal of Pentecostal Theology
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Abstract

Disabled individuals form a constituency often marginalized in society. The Christian Church must realize that participation in the missio dei, requires the redemption of individual identity. Thus, societal structures which produce stigmatizing labels must be challenged appropriately. Pentecostals also face unique challenges in regards to the relationship between 'healing' and 'disability'. Focusing upon the story of Mephibosheth, one can construct a 'redemptive reading' which allows for the voice of the disabled to be redeemed. A Foucaultan lens is employed to account for issues of power, structure and society applicable to the plight of individuals with disabilities. Attention is also given to the place of the disabled in Israelite culture, as further illustrated from other Jewish sources. Finally, Mephibosheth's voice is conceived as a 'sign' for the Sitz-im-Leben of the disabled universally. Approaching the text from this particular hermeneutic can ultimately empower the Church (and particularly Pentecostals) to redeem the identity of the disabled in community.

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