Author(s): Amy E. Jacober; Nick Palermo (Foreword by)
Theology and disability have not always had an easy relationship. The interactions have ranged from downright hostile to indifferent or unintentionally excluding over the centuries. This theology book chooses instead to include those with disabilities after more than a decade of consideration and study. This results in a re-examination of major theological topics and the impact on the lives of those with disabilities, their family and friends, and the community at large. The focus of the book is to move the church beyond welcome to inclusion--where those with disabilities move from a guest of the community to equal and valued member of the community. While the book is about the theological inclusion of those with disabilities, its implications reach far beyond. It sets an approach for all people to find a place where they too may live in the fullness of Christian community. Stories of personal encounters are blended with explanations of doctrinal perspectives giving the reader a chance to connect knowledge with wisdom born from real life experience. ""Approaching the conclusion of her book, Jacober confesses she thought she was writing a book on theology and disability, only to discover that the focus on disability made her theology more faithful. I can only second that judgment by commending her book to be read not only for those concerned with disabilities, but for anyone who would think more faithfully about our theological commitments as Christians."" --Stanley Hauerwas, Duke Divinity School ""How might our all-too-human experience of disability in all of its variegatedness continue to shape, refine, and guide not just our thinking in general, but our deepest reflections and ideas about theology--even about God ? Redefining Perfect is effectively a re-systemization of the historical theological loci, albeit now brought into unexpected fullness and fruition by the perspectives of people with disabilities and their friends, family members, and caretakers. For each of these groups of persons surely, but also for all who wish to press more profoundly into important dimensions of life."" --Amos Yong, Fuller Seminary, author of The Bible, Disability & the Church ""Throughout her compelling book, Amy Jacober challenges prevailing notions of perfection and offers an alternative vision of where wholeness and flourishing can best be found. Drawing upon stories and Scripture, she asks us to adopt new postures and practices that fully affirm people with disabilities as indispensable members of the Body of Christ."" --Erik Carter, Vanderbilt University ""Redefining Perfect is a great introduction to many theological concepts addressing pastors and leaders. It would be a great resource for those new to disability issues who are just becoming acquainted with a theological understanding of disability, particularly in addressing many misconceptions. The book is filled with many helpful examples from Dr. Jacober's experience, particularly related to research she has done with families of individuals with disabilities. I love her description of perfection as being a complete community. That is a community that includes all people."" --Jeff McNair, California Baptist University Amy Jacober is a founding member and Director of Academics for the Sonoran Theological Group in Phoenix, Arizona. She is the author of The Adolescent Journey (2011) and The Pastor's Guide to Youth Ministry (2006).