Intellectual Disability and the Sabbath Structure of the Human Person
The increased visibility of people with intellectual disabilities has raised important questions about what it means to be human. Some have argued that those with intellectual disabilities are not persons. Others have argued that in order to include people with disabilities we need to reject traditional notions of human nature. As Christians, how should we think about intellectual disability? Has the Christian tradition generally oppressed those with disabilities or upheld their dignity? Is disability part of God's intention in creation or is it a consequence of the Fall? Finally, how can we take seriously the real suffering that occurs for people with intellectual disabilities and their families, while also accounting for the mysterious, transformative power that the intellectually disabled so often exert on those who live with them?
On Thursday, October 3 Jared Ortiz, associate professor of religion at Hope College and director of the Saint Benedict Institute, addressed these questions in light of the Catholic tradition, especially the theology of the sabbath at the Authenticum Lecture Series at Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Grand Rapids.
Authenticum seeks to awaken as many people as possible to the Truth, Beauty, and Goodness of the Catholic Faith by sponsoring ongoing exciting lectures on the humanities (history, literature, music, philosophy, liturgy, patristics, theology, catechesis, etc.) in the spirit of Philippians 4:8 -"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."
Authenticum is hosted by Sacred Heart of Jesus Parish in Grand Rapids Michigan. It is dedicated to the New Evangelization and is one of our region’s most distinguished Catholic lecture series.
Lectures take place on the first Thursday of the month, August through May. Authenticum begins with a wine and cheese social at 6:30 p.m. and continues with talks by important Catholic thinkers at 7:00 p.m. Convivial discussion continues after the lectures and usually lasts well into the evening.