Articles by Ben Rhodes

Gratitude: An Intellectual History

Article by   November 2014
Peter J. Leithart, Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor University Press, 2014), 340 pages. $49.95/₤29.99The latest book from the prolific Peter Leithart is another installment of what we have come to expect: an accessibly written synthesis of specialist research advancing a... continue

Disability Theology and Flannery O'Connor

Article by   September 2014
What does it mean to speak of disability? According to the World Health Organization, over 15% of the global population (more than a billion people) lives with some form of disability, though the difficulties of precisely defining disability are significant. Etymologically, the word simply signifies a lack of some ability. As such, it assumes some standard of ability as the norm, some set of capacities, competencies or characteristics. Various cultures have understood such norms in many different ways throughout history, very often in more or less unconscious ways. Interpretations of gender and race play an enormous role in such definitions, including what is perceived as beautiful. At the beginning and end of our lives, to say nothing of states in between, humans tend towards the loss of many abilities, existing in such fluid states of dependency that some choose to speak of normal as "temporarily-able bodied." continue
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