This is not a theology of neurodiversity. It is a theology from neurodiversity. In her ground-breaking and daring theological exploration, Claire Williams considers how the experience of God for an autistic person challenges and interrogates our normal theologies about knowing God. Demonstrating how her autistic perspective offers a distinct and fresh hermeneutical lens, Williams shows that a liberation theology of neurodiversity can gift the church a new way of understanding worship, practice, ethics and even the nature of Christian hope itself.
"'This is a fantastically written and sensitively tackled book, challenging how churches and Christians think about autistic people. It gives us - autistic people - a voice and a stage we have never had before" -- Krysia Waldock "For too long the Church has oppressed autistic voices and autistic experiences of faith. Autistic people need liberation from the Church's oppression, and therefore the Church needs an autistic liberation theology. These are profound claims that Williams makes in her thought-provoking Peculiar Discipleship: An Autistic Liberation Theology. Williams, writing as an autistic theologian, opens up a theological space to rethink time, the question whether there will be autism in heaven, solidarity, hospitality and community. Moreover, one of the beauties of this book are the nuances with which she approaches and adds theological insight to several hotly debated issues in autism communities and in academic autism discourses. Yet Williams also aptly states that an autistic liberation theology is only successful if the Church changes its practices and values autistic people for who they are. Williams gives the church - and theology as an academic discipline - not only a lot to think about but also practical homework. Williams' book is a gift to the church and academy as she adds her autistic and insightful, theological voice to the growing discipline of autism theology." -- Armand Leon van Ommen "Claire Williams speaks to us as an autistic woman, mother and theologian. She marshalls these voices wonderfully to provide a multi-layered picture of what it means to be autistic, highlighting the challenges and frequent oppression that this often entails, even in the context of the Church. Speaking from her own charismatic tradition, Williams explores the possible hopes and expectations for autistic people in the 'now' and 'not-yet'. Whilst calling on perspectives from a wide range of Christian traditions, Williams then uses liberation theology to frame a powerful call for solidarity with autistic people, for hospitality and welcome and for practices of justice and, critically, for us to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Church through autistic people. This book will help us to do so." -- Stewart Rapley