Friday, June 1, 2012

Martin Luther and Childhood Disability in 16th Century Germany: What did he write? What did he say?

Independent Living Institute: Martin Luther's views on disability have been widely misapprehended and caricatured on the basis of a few items in a dubious edition of shorthand notes of conversations. His written and spoken arguments across 30 years (1517-1546) concerned with childbirth and infancy, devils, superstitions, changelings, prodigies, folly, disablement, deafness, participation in Christian sacraments, and exegesis of Biblical texts on disabled people, give a more reliable and interesting guide to his views, in the context of Luther's personal involvement with sickness, disability and practical care. Historically, European social and religious developments contained a broader range of views on disability than is commonly supposed, with some challenges for 21st century thought and practice.

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