Bethany Sheldahl’s weblog “Not of this World”

It’s a new blog, with a number of posts which can be found and accessed in the right column of her blog. Here’s one:

Church Survival Kit 

A Curious title. Bethany is an Orthodox Christian. Why would anyone need tips on surviving our glorious Divine Liturgy? For most of us, this is not an issue, because most of us are “neurotypical.” This is a term used by people of the autistic community concerning those who are not on the autism spectrum. Some expand this distinction beyond the community of those in the autism spectrum to all those whose who are neurologically diverse (including people who are bipolar, dyslexic, who have ADHD, and the like). From this point of view, such neurotypes simply are manifesting natural human variation, rather than disability. This viewpoint has been given the name “neurodiversity.” 

The Divine Liturgy was designed by the Holy Spirit for the majority, the neurotypical. In the weblog post above (in orange, which designates a live URL) Bethany, as person on the autism spectum describes how she copes with the overwhelming multi-sensory experience which is the Divine Liturgy. 

It is helpful for us all to consider how others experience this central foundation of Orthodox Christian life. And I am delighted to see those who are neurologically diverse, especially Orthodox Christians explain their lives themselves. 

Just a note- when I developed this weblog nine years ago I had not considered the viewpoint of neurodiversity, as you cn see from the title: Arms Open Wide: Orthodox Christian Disability Resources. I do not mean to offend those who do not count their neurology not as a disability, but as a variation. 

Enjoy Bethany’s post.

picture from Full of Grace and Truth

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