Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (MTh)




Martin Luther University College

First Advisor

Delton J. Glebe

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


The praxis of Christian social work in Japan needs to find a new direction due to social changes such as industrialization and technological development. Liberation theology has been responding to the critical stance toward the existing order and identifying with new movements for emancipation and justice. This paper analyzes the ethics of liberation theology and adapts it to the real life situation of people with disabilities in Japan. Chapter I deals with liberation theology and its ethics concerned with disabilities. It defines the measurement of ethics as a quality of life, so that the ethics can be examined in context. Chapter II introduces Japanese social changes as well as traditional ethics. Both ethics of Buddhism and Shintoism discriminate against persons with disabilities; industrialization also created a new type of discrimination and segregation against them, since disability was equated with unproductivity. Since medical technology cuts off human relationship by its system, disability and medical technological ethics were discussed. The paper then analyzes the present Japanese social welfare system and seeks a new dimension. Chapter III is the major research section: the life cycle analysis of a person with disabilities. Socio-psychological personality development is very important to analyze persons with disabilities since many of them were born disabled. Segregation and isolation by medical technology are damaging their personality development. The fetus stage deals with the DNA tests and abortion; the birth stage introduces the relationship between the medical technological system and human sensitivity such as odour, hearing, vision, and skinship; the infancy and early childhood stage discusses westernized changes and a new phenomena in Japan; the play age and school age deals with the Japanese school system and the segregation of children with disabilities; In the adolescent stage, persons with disabilities identify themselves as handicapped; The young adult and adulthood stage discusses institutional life and isolation from their families; The old age and termination of life stage introduces the isolated, dehumanized way life is terminated. The summary introduces the praxis at three levels: the intra personal level discusses self-liberation, participating in the movement; the inter-personal level suggests new church sacraments and the church community integrating people with disabilities into the Christian community; the meta-personal level discusses the social system changes through the consumer and independent living moments and the community-based rehabilitation system.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season


Included in

Social Work Commons