RAAC IUPUI > Religion & Disability

Religion & Disability

October 21, 2021 at 3:00 – 4:00 pm (Eastern)

Religious communities have often been at the forefront of providing services and support for parishioners with varying health, social, and economic needs.  However, this attention to difference has not always translated to a thoughtful encounter with intersectionality and the ways in which ability operates differently across race, gender, and class.  This panel hopes to address questions of access by examining the intersection of disability and religion through a lens that focuses on embodied religious practice and embodiment more broadly.  Moreover, this panel will address how disability and religion provide a novel space to think critically about inclusion and visibility in the political arena, classrooms, and religious spaces. We ask: “How has disability theory and activism opened up new arenas for social protest and political belonging—particularly with regard to religious spaces?” This panel discussion will examine these and other topics in light of what many argue is a renewed attention to neurodiversity, varied abilities, and access in an age of social media and distance learning. Join humanities and social science scholars for a conversation at the intersection of religion, disability, and resistance.



Kenzie Mintus, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Kenzie Mintus is an Associate Professor of Sociology in the School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI. Her research interests include health and aging, with an emphasis on disability as well as chronic illness; much of her research focuses on identifying and understanding health disparities among older adults. In 2017, she was selected as a fellow of the Gerontological Society of America. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. Mintus serves on several journal editorial boards, including The Journals of Gerontology, Social Sciences, Journal of Aging and Health, Journal of Family Issues, and PLOS ONE. She has published over 20 scholarly articles.


Sarah Imhoff, Indiana University, Bloomington

Sarah Imhoff is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University. She is broadly interested in religion and the body. Her research asks questions about how bodies and their attributes, such as gender, race, and ability, shaped and are shaped by religion. Underwriting many of her research projects are questions about how embodiment makes religious meaning, and how religious discourse makes bodies. She has written about the meaning of Jewishness in contemporary American contexts and is especially interested in the ways that race, DNA, and medical knowledge shape what it means to be Jewish—or even who is a Jew—today.



Daniel Bowman, Jr., Taylor University

Daniel Bowman, Jr. is Associate Professor of English at Taylor University, Editor-in-Chief of Relief: A Journal of Art and Faith, and author of A Plum Tree in Leatherstocking Country (VAC Poetry, 2012) and On the Spectrum: Autism, Faith, and the Gifts of Neurodiversity (Brazos Press, 2021). His work has appeared in many print and online journals, including: The Adirondack Review, American Poetry Journal, Art House America, Books and Culture, Istanbul Literary Review (Turkey), The Midwest Quarterly, The Other Journal, Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, Rio Grande Review, Pyrta (India), Seneca Review, and others.


Meredith Olivia Harris Hope, College of Wooster

Meredith Hope is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the College of Wooster. She focuses on protective factors that enhance positive social development and health outcomes in minority youth and emerging adults in the United States. Right now, she explores the contributions of religious communities for Black youth and emerging adult development within  high-risk contexts (e.g., racial discrimination and community violence), with specific emphasis on behavioral and mental health outcomes. Dr. Hope also specializes in teaching child, adolescent, and emerging adult development, as well as the psychology of religion and spirituality.



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