About the Autism, Theology and Christian Life course
How might churches better respond to autistic people within congregations, and draw more on their gifts and insights? What biblical and theological resources might help us to reflect more deeply on the experience of people with autism?
Based on her book Peculiar Discipleship: An Autistic Liberation Theology, this course will consider descriptions of autism and neurodiversity, the nature of autistic Christians’ engagement with the church and Christian life, and offer some practical suggestions for the flourishing of autistic Christian lives. We will consider some of the ways in which autistic people are discriminated against in society and in the church, and the tutor will offer some theological reflection on some biblical passages that illuminate the welcome the church can offer, grounded in the welcome of Christ.
About the Tutor
Claire Williams investigates the experience of women’s spirituality and practice, using empirical methodology, with research interests in motherhood and spirituality, feminist theology, embodied spirituality, and the practices of charismatic churches (in particular Newfrontiers). She is also interested in the Benedictine monastic traditions, trauma theology and charismatic studies.
Her book Peculiar Discipleship: An Autistic Liberation Theology was published in 2023 by SCM. She is co-editing a book on theology and pregnancy with Dr Karen O’Donnell.
Claire is working on a PhD at Durham University, with the provisional title of ‘The faith lives and practices of women in Newfrontiers churches’. She earned a BA in theology at Wycliffe Hall, Oxford, and completed an MA in theology at St Augustine’s College of Theology in Kent.