In God's Image

Recognizing the Profoundly Impaired as Persons

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Peter A. Comensoli
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Cascade Books
    , April
     254 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.


In God’s Image: Recognizing the Profoundly Impaired as Persons is a bold Catholic argument in defense of the profoundly impaired. While a range of theological voices can now be heard speaking up on behalf of those who live their lives at the extremes of the human condition, few voices have been explicitly Catholic. Comensoli draws on the irreplaceable contribution of St. Thomas Aquinas to forge an engagement with one of the leading thinkers in the theology of the disabled, Professor Hans Reinders. While recognizing the crucial contribution that Reinders has made, Comensoli situates our perception of the cognitively impaired within the horizon of God’s own image, refusing a reduction of the substantialist position the Catholic tradition has always valued. This is linked to the fresh and countercultural community life pioneered by Jean Vanier, founder of the L’Arche communities. For Comensoli, the profoundly impaired are persons whose personhood cannot be recognized outside of the condition of their impairment, and through which God’s Image is perceived in all its paradoxical implications.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Peter A. Comensoli is Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Broken Bay, in New South Wales, Australia. He is a moral theologian who has worked and studied in Wollongong, Rome, St. Andrews, Edinburgh, and Sydney.


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