Baylor’s Readers Meet the Author Series Welcomes Dr. Devan Stahl

February 22, 2024
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On Thursday, February 29, at noon, Dr. Devan Stahl, Associate Professor of Religion, will present her book, “Disability’s Challenge to Theology: Genes, Eugenics, and the Metaphysics of Modern Medicine,” as part of Baylor University’s ongoing Readers Meet the Author Series. The conversation, presented by the Office of the Provost and the Office of the President, will be held on the first floor of Moody Memorial Library in the Schumacher Flex Commons. 

The event is free and will be hosted in person and livestreamed via Zoom Webinar. Light refreshments and a book signing with Dr. Stahl will follow the conversation. 

Devan Stahl joined the Religion Department at Baylor University in the fall of 2019. Her research focuses on medicine and the visual arts, theological bioethics, disability studies, and beginning and end of life issues. Her previous works include “Bioenhancement and the Vulnerable Body: A Theological Engagement,” “The Body and Ultimate Concern: Reflections on an Embodied Theology of Paul Tillich,” and “Imaging and Imagining Illness: Becoming Whole in a Broken Body.”

Stahl’s “Disability’s Challenge to Theology,” uses insights from disability studies to understand in a deeper way the ethical implications that genetic technologies pose for Christian thought. In her book, Stahl argues that in order for Christians to evaluate both genetic science and the moral use of genetic technologies, an engagement with metaphysics and a theology of nature is crucial.

“If we as Christians want to care for people with disabilities in our community, we need to first understand the ways in which medicine and our churches have devalued and continue to devalue disabled people,” Stahl said. “After taking account of this history, we then need to reevaluate what it means to be human and made in the image of God. In so doing we will discover that vulnerability and dependency are inherent to the human condition and not characteristics to be overcome.”

“People with disabilities, myself included, are already part of our Baylor community,” Stahl said. “We ought to think deeply, therefore, about disability justice and what we owe one another as members of God’s creation. When we devalue or hinder the flourishing of our disabled community members, the whole community suffers.”                                                                                                         

The Readers Meet the Author Series encourages opportunities for Baylor faculty, staff, students, and others to gather for shared reflection and collegial conversation about substantial ideas presented in recent faculty publications. President Livingstone notes, “This series presents a unique opportunity to showcase the exceptional work of our faculty while also celebrating that which is great about the academe — our ability to share perspectives and ideas with each other for the sake of civil academic discourse.”

For more information visit or contact the Office of the Provost at (254) 710-3601.