Revisiting 'Midnight’s Children'

Critical Disability and Postcolonial Studies Interventions in Christology

Authors

  • Sharon V. Betcher Independent Scholar

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i3.20305

Keywords:

disability, postcolonial, Christology, health

Abstract

Within postcolonial literature, “Midnight’s Children” (Rushdie) their births laden not only with supernatural expectation, but traumatically marked with cultural upheaval—appear as symbols of hope in an unreliable future. Given the presence of disability in postcolonial literature, this essay pushes Christian theology to think with our own “midnight’s child”—one born “uncomely,” disfigured (Isaiah 53). “Disability”— never without some material signature, but always a cultural representation— names the ply of rhetoric batted back and forth between colonial and anti-colonial, these volleys shifting aesthetics and bending arcs of affect. Through the optics of modern realism, Jesus appeared as healer for the regime of “ablenationalism.” This essay, however, dares to think the figure of Jesus as volleyed back at Empire by anti-colonials. Reading with the Global South—namely, with the biblical scholar Simon Samuel and the constructive theology of Marcella Althaus-Reid—makes the figure of Jesus as postcolonial crip not wholly unprecedented.

Author Biography

Sharon V. Betcher, Independent Scholar

Sharon Betcher works as an Independent Scholar and Writer from her home on Whidbey Island, Washington. She specializes in areas of constructive theology, including especially work in disability theology, theology in the face of emergent planetary urbanism, and progressive Christian theologies. Dr. Betcher received her B.A. (1978) in Religion from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD, and her MDiv (1982) from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. After serving as a pastor at two parishes in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she moved to northern New Jersey, where she studied with Dr. Catherine Keller at the Graduate School of Drew University, receiving her PhD in 1998. While at Drew she served as teaching associate at the Theological School, then taught at Vancouver School of Theology (2000-2012). She is the author of two books, Spirit and the Politics of Disablement (Fortress, 2007) and Spirit and the Obligation of Social Flesh (Fordham, 2014).

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Published

2016-01-20

How to Cite

Betcher, S. V. (2016). Revisiting ’Midnight’s Children’: Critical Disability and Postcolonial Studies Interventions in Christology. Postscripts: The Journal of Sacred Texts, Cultural Histories, and Contemporary Contexts, 7(3), 311–334. https://doi.org/10.1558/post.v7i3.20305

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