Joy and Autism: Biblical, Theological and Practical Perspectives

Grant Macaskill*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Autism is frequently approached as a condition of functional deficit, where the perceived deficit is defined in terms of the individual’s measurement against a standard labeled as “normal.” The capacity to experience fulfillment is often considered to be compromised by such deficit. As part of a theological evaluation of autism, the concept of joy is seen to function in ways that resist such approaches, for the capacity for joy is not linked to any individual’s intrinsic capacity, but rather to the presence and purpose of God, which must take precedence over all other elements in the evaluation of the condition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-280
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Disability & Religion
Issue number3
Early online date11 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • autism
  • joy
  • functional deficit
  • theology
  • Autism


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