Crippled Grace


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Table of Contents

  • Introduction: A Disabled Account of Flourishing
  • 1. The Experience of Disability: The Journey We Would Not Have Chosen
  • 2. Disability, Theodicy, and the Problem of Pain: Why Me, God?
  • 3. Disability, Virtue, and the Meaning of Happiness: A Disabled Reading of the Virtue Tradition
  • 4. Disability, Advocacy, and the Good Life: Mark Tonga's Story
  • 5. Disability, Psychology, and the Science of Happiness: Measuring Happiness in Hedonic Science
  • 6. Profound Disability, Independence, and Friendship: Practical Reasoning and Moral Agency
  • 7. Disability, Sexuality, and Intimacy: Happiness under the Covers
  • 8. Disability, Limitation, and the Positivity Myth: Sara Chesterman's Story
  • 9. Disability, Grace, and the Virtue of Letting Go of Control: Wild and Unruly Currents
  • Conclusion: A Disabled Account of Faith

About the Author

Shane Clifton is Honorary Associate and Professor at the Centre of Disability Research and Policy in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Sydney.


Crippled Grace is a wide-ranging reflection on the issues surrounding disability and flourishing. Clifton boldly asks the difficult and confronting questions, recognising his limitations and being prepared to not have comprehensive answers, while still setting a solid framework for understanding the dynamics of flourishing and challenges and issues that are presently hindering it for the disabled community. Paragraph after paragraph the work continues to offer wisdom and insight as Clifton shows a comprehensive awareness of the relevant ethical, practical and theological concerns. -- Christopher Car -- Journal of Contemporary Ministry

This book deserves to be read by anyone interested in the fragility of the human condition and the hope God's grace gives. -- Choice

[Clifton] also manages to combine personal honesty with sophisticated reflection, a feat too rare in academic theology today. This is truly a book all who want to work in theology and disability should read, because it is thoughtful, brutally honest, deeply reflective, and methodologically sophisticated. -- Aaron Klink -- Reading Religion

Clifton has convinced me that what my congregation needs is not wheelchair ramps and ADA-approved restrooms so much as a wrecking ball taken to its Sunday-best pretenses.... Crippled Grace helps us see, regardless of ability, that this sort of frank admission of brokenness-and a candid willingness to be dependent upon God or others-is the path to happiness. -- Jason Micheli -- The Christian Century

Clifton forges into new territory and produces perhaps the most thorough work by a Pentecostal scholar on disability and suffering and surely the most important work on this topic since Amos Yong's Theology and Down Syndrome (Baylor University Press, 2007). I heartily endorse this work as a primary textbook for disability studies, ethics, and human relationships, as well as secondary and recommended reading for Pentecostal-specific courses with emphases upon healing, prophetic justice, suffering, and practical theology. This work also deserves a wide readership among pastors, particularly those engaged in pastoral care, and all readers interested in ministry to, from, and with our friends in the disability community. -- Martin W. Mittelstadt -- Pneuma: The Journal of the Society for Pentecostal Studies

Crippled Grace belongs in our library of ethics as envisioned by disabled people - exemplifying how disabled people actively develop and enact virtues for living a good life specific to our realities. -- Alise de Bie -- Disability and Society

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