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Backhouse Lecture 2024 – God’s Ways, Not Our Ways

July 8 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm


Backhouse Lecture 2024

God’s ways, not our ways: a dissident Quaker response to disability

with Professor Jackie Leach Scully

Monday Jul 8, 2024

8:00 PM Canberra (7:30pm Adelaide)

This Backhouse lecture asks the question: what might disability, difference and normality mean for Friends in the twenty-first century?

This is a particularly crucial question today, because for the first time in human history we are developing ways to control what kind of disabilities enter into life, and which don’t. It just isn’t possible to do this responsibly if we haven’t engaged in depth with the spiritual as well as social, moral and political meanings of disability and people with disability.

Until recently, disability has most commonly been approached as a medical problem requiring a medical solution. Over the last half-century an alternative view takes disability as a form of difference where the problem (if there is one) is the mismatch between unusual bodies and the way society is organised. We’re also more aware of disability as an issue of justice and human rights. But none of these perspectives pays much attention to the spiritual encounter with impairment and disability.

In this lecture, the Professor Scully will work from personal experience and my professional background as a bioethicist to explore how Friends are called to respond to disability and impairment. As well as taking a look at traditional and contemporary theological engagement with disability and illness, the speaker will use the lens of Quaker testimony to offer new light on issues like embodiment, vulnerability and community. She wants us to consider how to “think dissidently” as we go about building a world more inclusive of all kinds of difference and diversity.

For Zoom Connection details, contact the Clerk of the Meeting:

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July 8
8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Quakers Australia
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