Special Education as Spiritual Warfare


This article reflects on a theology of exceptionalities and the hermeneutics of special education, and develops the notion that there is an aspect of special education which can be understood as spiritual warfare. The main thesis is that providing access to an appropriate and least restrictive education for people with disabilities involves “demolishing strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:4): removing barriers of ignorance, prejudice, stereotype, cultural mythology, and misconception as to disability and the personal worth surrounding individuals who have disabilities. The discussion is situated within the context of Nicholas Wolterstorff”s work on teaching for shalom (2002, 2004). After defining the biblical concept of shalom and its relationship to education, the Christian’s involvement in spiritual warfare is examined. Special education is then expressed as an aspect of spiritual warfare with implications drawn regarding inclusive programs and practices that promote reconciliation and recognition of interdependence, thereby encouraging shalom in the educational community

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