POVERTY AND HUNGER AS DISABLERS: A THEOLOGICAL RESPONSE

Devison Telen Banda

Abstract


This paper is a combination of reflection and inquiry into the effects of poverty and hunger on disability. Insights are drawn from theology, particularly the New Testament, and Political Science both of which condition the author's eyes to see what is visible. Experiences of poverty either directly or through personal interactions with people living in abject poverty, form another premise from which to view, understand and tackle poverty and hunger. Although the paper embraces the analysis of how poverty and hunger affects society generally, special focus is one people with disability. The searching questions include: Has poverty and hunger come to stay forever? How does and should theology respond to poverty and hunger? Does Theology offer any potential to be a tool with which to mitigate poverty and hunger in order to uplift the lives of people with disability? Taking these questions with all the deserving seriousness, it is hypothesized that: Poverty is not a creation of God to last forever, but a creation of society that can be defeated. Theology has potential to be one of the key tools in alleviating or mitigating poverty, particularly if theology overcomes its other potential to perpetuate poverty and hunger as divinely ordained. Within the given limitations, the paper ends with propositions through which theology can serve as a tool in the fight against poverty and hunger. The propositions are not in any sense clusters of exclusive dogma, but rather, an invitation to serious reflection and conversation towards poverty and hunger alleviation. The undergirding conviction of this paper is that society often exploits people with disabilities and, unless the fight against poverty and hunger is won, efforts towards inclusivity of people with disabilities will only receive lip attention. For this reason, more emphasis in this paper will fall on poverty

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