*Content warning: suicide, grief, death of a child.
Welcome to the Mad and Crip Theology Podcast, hosted by Miriam Spies and Amy Panton, which comes out of the Canadian Journal of Theology, Mental Health and Disability. We both live and work lands that have been homes and remain homes to the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Huron Wendat, the Neutral and the Ojibway/Chippewa peoples and other peoples who have cared for the land. We are grateful for the opportunity to live and work on this land and are mindful of the need to repair broken covenants.
On today’s episode of the Mad and Crip Theology podcast we talk to Dr. Laura Macgregor and Alex Jebson. Laura's piece in our most recent issue of the journal considers how the intellectualization of worship in many mainstream churches denies embodiment as a source of spiritual wisdom, and as a result, excludes the meaningful participation and leadership of people with intellectual disabilities. Drawing on personal experience as the mother of a child with profound intellectual disabilities, Laura explore how an intellectual lens of faith, as demonstrated by theologians such as Henri Nouwen and Hans Reinders, has colonized the embodied spiritual lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Alex's piece in the same issue of the journal wrestles with the topic of student suicides from the perspective of the student body at the University of Toronto, and examples of secular and Christian examinations of the suffering and potential avenues of hope are offered. Suffering for the student body is the result of external trauma, compounded by the disruption of a cultural narrative for young students, a lack of institutional acknowledgement, and little spiritual resources to draw from, risking further isolation and feelings of helplessness. Hope can be found in discerning justice for the deceased, restoring a sense of agency to the student body through activism and institutional reform.
To check out their written work, head to our journal website: https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/cjtmhd/index
This podcast is an opportunity to model how faith communities can engage in theological and spiritual conversations around madness and cripness. If you need a full transcript you can find videos on our Youtube channel and here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCRUW9z5hoqP_WK74hg3N8bQ
We want to say that topics and conversations we are raising throughout our time together are often hard! They are hard for mad and crip people ourselves and hard for our families and loved ones. So, do what you need to do to take care of yourselves, your bodies, minds, and hearts.