In the Image of God: Disability and Christianity in Uganda


Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellowships




Based on 22 months of ethnographic research, this dissertation examines Christian engagements with disability in Uganda. According to national data, roughly 20 percent of Uganda’s population is disabled due to five decades of political violence, limited medical care, and widespread poverty. While Uganda has ratified some of the world’s most progressive disability laws, the material circumstances of most disabled Ugandans have not changed. In this setting, a range of Catholic and Protestant groups—often led by disabled Ugandans—have become major providers of care, advocacy, and other forms of support for people with disabilities. Across their differences, these Christian groups share the notion that people with disabilities are created in the “image of God,” a notion that animates a variety of nonliberal, nonsecular engagements with disability. This project explores the forms of disability politics, sociality, and personhood that arise in Ugandan Christian contexts.