Emma CW Ceruti received her MA in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in 2016. Under the supervision of Professor James Cone, she examined theological anthropology from the perspective of disability within her MA thesis entitled “A Discourse on imago Dei and Intellectual Disability.” She is now working on a PhD in Theological Studies at Emmanuel College within the Toronto School of Theology. Currently in the dissertation stage, her doctoral thesis entitled, “Doing and Undoing Disability Theology: A Mystical-Liberative Approach to the Cross,” aims to address the absence of soteriology within the field of disability theology, and in turn, provide a soteriological framework in which suffering is understood not as an essential feature of disability but as a lived reality in bodily and relational form. Synthesizing disability theology, critical disability theory, and the mystical-liberative theology of Dorothee Sölle, the goal of this project is to validate the phenomenological experience of suffering for people with disabilities and to examine the conditions under which social transformation can come out of such experiences. In order to accomplish this goal, a mutual reinterpretation between the passion narrative of Jesus Christ and Dorothee Sölle’s three phases of suffering is necessary. Reinterpreting these soteriological elements opens a dialectical interplay in which the correlates of social narrative and phenomenology offer new understandings of suffering, salvation, and disability.
Emma will be presenting on "The Triumphant Entry of Disability Theology," chapter 1 of Doing and Undoing Disability Theoogy: A Mystical-Liberative Approach to the Cross. For the April Scholars Forum, Emma will present a selection from her first chapter themed on Palm Sunday. This overview includes the context in which disability theology emerged, the need for such a theology, and the niche that this project aims to fill. The main goal of this project is to identify the absence of soteriology and the need for such a theology across the following chapters. In short, this introductory chapter “heralds” in the project.
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