Loving Our Own Bones: Disability Wisdom and the Spiritual Subversiveness of Knowing Ourselves Whole

Beacon. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780807006757. $29.95. SPIRITUALITY
Belser’s (Jewish studies and disability studies, Georgetown Univ.; Rabbinic Tales of Destruction) book is a triumph of theological insight, disability activism, and honest, personal, hard-won wisdom. She weaves her own experience as a queer, disabled, feminist scholar and rabbi into critical, sensitive, profound encounters with Jewish and Christian sacred writings. Belser challenges texts and practices that have harmed and marginalized disabled communities, yet she still returns to these texts to reread, to confront ableist implications and interpretations, and to reject or claim. Her skill in engaging these passages is a superb example of how to draw spiritual direction from within a religious tradition, while asking hard questions and refusing to accept when power is wielded, consciously or unconsciously, against marginalized communities. The book asks, what would it mean if, instead of imagining God as an able-bodied man wielding infinite power, the world could see the God who identifies with the experience of the wheelchair user? To answer, Belser turns to a passage in Ezekiel that offers a vision of just that, a glimpse of “God on Wheels.”
VERDICT An excellent, impressive addition to the conversation around theology and disability that shines on many levels.
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