‘A mother first, last, and always’: A theological study, through life stories, of mothering a child on the autism spectrum

Campbell, Eilidh (2020) ‘A mother first, last, and always’: A theological study, through life stories, of mothering a child on the autism spectrum. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This research seeks to offer a practical theological reflection on the experience of mothering a child on the autism spectrum.

I begin by exploring contemporary literature on disability and autism to critically assess the tensions between the everyday challenges of daily mothering, and the wider impact of social attitudes and policies which occlude this experience. Adopting a feminist phenomenological approach, I then undertake an analysis of mothers’ life stories. These include my own autoethnographic writing, published memoirs and life story interviews. I draw on these to construct a theological reflection on the challenges experienced by mothers of children with a diagnosis of autism and use this as a basis to critique the existing theological literature in this field. Finally, I propose that the lived experience of the mothers necessitates a theological response which attends to the complexity and unsettled nature of lived experiences which resist incorporation into normative epistemic frameworks. It requires a theology of ‘unresolvement’.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by Trinity Scholarship.
Keywords: Auto-Ethnography, motherhood, autism, disability theology.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BV Practical Theology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Supervisor's Name: Walton, Professor Heather
Date of Award: 2020
Depositing User: Dr Eilidh Campbell
Unique ID: glathesis:2020-81842
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2021 14:40
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2021 16:54
Thesis DOI: 10.5525/gla.thesis.81842
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/81842

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