DTh students present at RGTRP

RGTRP, Adam Room, Grove House

Image - DTh students present at RGTRP

Speaker 1: Cristina Gangemi (University of Roehampton)
Speaker 2: Andy Hardy (University of Roehampton)

Time: 11.30 am - 12.45 pm

Cristina Gangemi (University of Roehampton)

"Meet the Person: Exploring Disability Theology throuhg the Phenomenological Thinking of Edith Stein"

Over time disability theology has successfully argued that ‘people with disabilities have at best been minority voices (witness) in the development of Christian theology and at worst have been completely silenced within its conversation.’ Decisions have been made about people rather than with them. Disability theologian John Swinton believes that at the heart of this problem we might notice a judgemental ‘hypercognitive’ Church which, in opposition to the gift of life, found in Christian anthropology, downgrades the faith expressions of people who experience disability. Modern philosopher Edith Stein’s insatiable interest in the human person and empathic practice provides interesting reading into this problematic issue. This paper will introduce the in-depth phenomenal, anthropological-theological thinking of this ingenious young academic whose life was touched by God in a way that affirmed her search for truth and enriched her understanding of empathy and the human person. As a practitioner, religious sister and saint, her interdisciplinary thinking offers much to reflect on for practical and disability theologians.

Cristina Gangemi holds a Masters degree in Pastoral Theology and Lay ministry, with a special focus on Disability. She is Director of The Kairos Forum, which focuses on enabling communities to be places of belonging for people with a disability. She has had extensive experience in Special Education, the training of specialised Lay ministers and parent support and is currently working with Livability and other charities. Cristina has recently worked with the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Pontifical Council for New Evangelisation and Catechesis on issues regarding disability. During the 2012 Games she was a spokesperson for the Christian community and is a national advisor to the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales. She is currently undertaking doctoral study in Practical theology and Roehampton University.

Andy Hardy (University of Roehampton)