I haven't read a book on disability and religion since The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability by Nancy Eiesland came out in the mid-'90s. That's a great book, by the way, but it's exciting to see three brand new books on disability and religion -- and a thoughtful review introducing them over at The Christian Century.
The three books discussed by Brian Volck are:
Theology and Down Syndrome: Reimagining Disability in Late Modernity by Amos Yong,
Spirit and the Politics of Disablement by Sharon V. Betcher, and
Vulnerable Communion: A Theology of Disability and Hospitality by Thomas E. Reynolds.
Volck looks at each book separately but here's an excerpt on his general thoughts on the topic:
These authors present twin challenges to theologically informed, able-bodied Christians. First, they challenge us to move beyond the relatively easy tasks of redesigning church sanctuaries and striving for visible diversity in liturgies and committees, and to begin engaging the far more difficult mystery of desiring and entering into communion with one another. What liturgical and ecclesial practices can we embrace that will make clear our human interdependence in Christ without allowing us to merely collapse into trivializing sentimentalities like, "Everyone is handicapped in their own way"? We may face greater challenges in becoming interdependent with persons who have intellectual disabilities than with those with physical disabilities. The practices and experience of Jean Vanier's L'Arche communities have much to teach us in this regard.While you're over there, check out an article on musician Curtis Mayfield, the legendary Chicago bluesman who was paralyzed in an accident while on stage in 1990 and died in 1999.
Second, disability raises thorny questions about traditional interpretations of Christian doctrine: Does God will severe disability? Does salvation through faith imply personal intellectual assent? What does it mean to be formed in the image of God? Does disability persist in the resurrection of the body? Once again, severe intellectual disability may present the greatest challenge.
Yong, Betcher and Reynolds do not present systematic theologies of disability. Instead, they offer stepping-off points for theological reflection. More important, they challenge readers to interrogate their own lives and assumptions, moving discussions past the self-satisfying mantras of inclusion and diversity and into new, potentially frightening and grace-filled territory.