Buddhism and Disability: Toward a Socially Engaged Buddhist ‘Theology’ of Bodily Inclusiveness

Bee Scherer


Following on from current discourses within critical disability studies, I investigate the parameters, opportunities and challenges of some Buddhist responses to variable bodies. Negotiating the different Buddhist modes between ‘karmatic’ sociology and ‘nirvanic’ soteriology, I develop outlines of Socially Engaged Buddhist ‘theology’ of bodily inclusiveness, arguing for a person-centered, non-judgmental approach to bodily variability and neuro-diversity. I conclude with critical ruminations about oppressive normalcy and by pointing out some pathways to navigating variability-affirming ‘anthroposcapes’ - landscapes of embodied human experiences.

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