Disability in the African context: towards inclusive homiletics
This study explores disability in the African context and seeks to articulate markers for an inclusive homiletic in the African context. The epidemiology and aetiology of disability are highlighted. It is estimated that 15 percent of the world's population has some kind of disability, making disabled persons the "world's largest minority group" (Disabled World, 2019). Significant for this study is that 80 percent of disabled persons live in developing countries (White, 2017:120). The incidence of disability is furthermore reported to be on the rise, due to aging populations and the high risk of disability in older people as well as the global increase in chronic health conditions such as stroke, cancer, diabetes and mental disorders (WHO, 2011:xi). Although many disabled people wish to participate fully in faith communities, they face attitudinal and architectural barriers that result in their exclusion from faith communities (Anderson, 2006:37). Consequently, this study highlights the dire need for an inclusive homiletic in the African context. The African context is highlighted in a positive and mystical light, bringing to the fore the diversity and rich tapestry of African cultures, and portraying Africa as a philosophical concept (Louw, 2008:147). This study employs Osmer's (2008:4) four tasks of practical theological interpretation. The first movement, the descriptive-empirical task, seeks to determine the status quo – what is happening in terms of disability issues and disabled persons in the light of the African context and worldview. The second movement, the interpretive task, seeks to interpret why Africans react the way they do to disability and disabled persons in church practice and preaching. The third movement, the normative task, seeks to establish ethical strategies to address issues of disability by engaging perspectives from disability theology, Scripture and homiletics. The fourth movement, the pragmatic task, seeks to articulate markers for an inclusive disability homiletic in the African context. The pragmatic task builds on the clues provided by the normative task, and thus involves a response that can lead to necessary change. Based on the findings of the descriptive-empirical, interpretive and normative tasks, markers for an inclusive disability homiletic in the African context are articulated.
- Theology