Becoming the Baptized Body, a new book
"Dr. Barton’s scholarly yet accessible book about our baptismal theology and the reality of disabilities is a timely work that needs to be read and discussed by clergy and lay leaders, and indeed all who take seriously Jesus’ Way of Love."
~Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church and author of Love Is the Way and The Power of Love
Baptism offers the distinctive practice of Christian initiation, rooted in Jesus' own baptism, ministry, death, and resurrection. Too often, however, people with intellectual disabilities are excluded from this core Christian practice and so barred from full inclusion in the life of discipleship. How can the work of the Triune God in baptism renew Christian imagination toward an embrace of baptismal identities and vocations among disabled Christians?
In Becoming the Baptized Body Sarah Jean Barton explores how baptismal theologies and practices shape Christian imagination, identity, and community. Privileging perspectives informed by disability experience through theological qualitative research, Becoming the Baptized Body demonstrates how theology done together can expansively enliven imagination around baptismal practices and how they intersect with the human experience of disability. Through a lively tapestry of stories, theological insights, and partnerships with Christians who experience intellectual disability, Barton resists theological abstraction and engages and expands the field of disability theology.
With a methodological commitment to inclusive research and a focus on ecclesial practice, Barton brings theologians of disability, biblical accounts of baptism, baptismal liturgies, and theological voices from across the ecumenical spectrum in conversation with Christians shaped by intellectual disability. Becoming the Baptized Body explores how the real-world experiences of disabled Christians enrich and expand received Christian theological traditions and illustrates avenues for vibrant participation and formation for all believers.
Becoming the Baptized Body is available to pre-order from Baylor University Press here.