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Title: Will there be tiers in heaven? : an examination of the implications of the resurrection of the body for disabled people
Author: Santamaria, Nicola Janet
ISNI:       0000 0004 5349 9810
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2014
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My research looks at the question of what life in heaven will be like for people with disabilities, and in particular for those with learning disabilities. I am examining the ideas of Augustine, and of L’Arche in the writings of Jean Vanier and Henri Nouwen, looking to see where they correspond and where they differ. One reason for this research is to answer the question of continuity of identity for people in the next life. Will someone be recognisable as themselves if their disability is removed in heaven? Another is to consider how eschatology impinges on pastoral practice for people with disabilities. In spite of the great differences in approach between the L’Arche voices and the voice of Augustine, there are some areas where they can speak to each other. One of these relates to community since for both Augustine and L’Arche, community is a key feature of human life. Another area is one we can call illumination or vision. Augustine’s ideas of vision, and in particular of what he calls intellectual vision relate to the L’Arche belief that people with learning disabilities have a positive and beneficial influence on the people around them. This is relevant to the responsibility Church communities have not only to welcome people with learning disabilities into their midst, but also to appreciate the gifts that those people bring. Such gifts can enable the whole community to gain enlightenment and a sense of the divine presence in the here-and-now, as a foretaste of the joys of heaven. People with learning disabilities can thus become prophets who help others to come closer to God, and to have a vision of what their heavenly home might be like.
Supervisor: Sedmak, Clemens; Ticciati, Susannah Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available