University of Rochester

Lecture by Nancy L. Eiesland of the Candler School of Theology, Emory University, on disability and the culture of piety

TIME, DATE, AND PLACE: 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Gamble Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

January 15, 2001

Nancy L. Eiesland, assistant professor of sociology of religion at the Candler School of Theology of Emory University, will speak on "Cultures of Piety and the Moral Meaning of Disability in the United States" from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 1, in the Gamble Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

As a sociologist of religion, Eiesland explores the social and historical sources of relationships between religious groups and people with disabilities. In her research, she has interviewed those who feel abandoned by organized religion. In one article, she points out that in the Christian tradition "seldom is the resurrected Christ recognized as a deity whose hands, feet, and side bear the marks of profound physical impairment."

Her work also focuses on the lives of women with physical disabilities. She has studied the oppression that women with disabilities experience and how they, more than other groups, face "public disgust and self-loathing" daily.

Eiesland earned her doctorate from the Department of Ethics and Society at Emory University and her master's of divinity degree from Emory's Candler School of Theology. She is the author of A Particular Place: Urban Restructuring and Religious Ecology in a Southern Exurb and The Disabled God: Toward a Liberatory Theology of Disability. In 1998, she was a Fulbright Distinguished Lecturer in New Zealand on disability studies in religion. She has also lectured widely in the United States and Europe.

The lecture, which is free, is one in a series sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and co-sponsored by the Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development, and the Susan B. Anthony Institute for Gender and Women's Studies. The purpose of the series is to consider the development of a humanities-based disability studies curriculum in high schools and colleges. Light refreshments will be available. For more information, contact Linda Ware at (585) 275-3010.