Television Dramas, Disability, and Religious Knowledge: Considering Call the Midwife and Grey’s Anatomy as Religiously Significant Texts
Call the Midwife
Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
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AbstractImages and narratives of people with disabilities in popular culture shape the perceptions of people with and without disabilities. When these narratives raise philosophical and religious questions emerging from the lives of people with disabilities, and depict meaningful engagements between people with disabilities and religious practices, an underexamined body of knowledge emerges. The television series Call the Midwife and Grey’s Anatomy both have episodes that depict families responding to a disability diagnosis in a newborn infant, and each offers a potentially significant account of what it means to be a person born with a disability. While popular culture depictions of disability often reinscribe stigmatizing stereotypes, they can also disrupt those stereotypes and identify people with disabilities as authoritative, underrecognized sources of knowledge and experience, including religious understanding.