Keith Harris


Faith in the Shadows - the other side of the fence

Faith in the Shadows

The Other Side of the Fence

Keith's widely acclaimed theological study into faith and disability has now been published and is available for sale.

Order Now

Introduction to 'Faith in the Shadows: The Other Side of the Fence'

We live in a world where 'value' is frequently assessed through a person's perceived capabilities or external attributes. Disability can create significant challenges to this 'value' model. Faith in the Shadows proposes new discourse in our perceptions of 'value', recommending a new paradigm of inclusion and acceptance based on a person's spiritual value rather than their functional or external value. This approach opens a pathway to the realisation of a new and much healthier understanding of faith, disability, and the worlds in which people with disability frequently live.

Why Read this Book:

Every author would like you to read their book; that is a given. Of course, as the author of this book, I could say many reasons why I would like you to read it. But I would rather tell you what drove me to author this book. Do you have, or know, a family member, friend, or partner who lives with a complex disability diagnosis? Many of us do.

We have one, our daughter. Her adaptive functionality is rated as being in the low range of 0.1% (Vineland II) of women her age in our state of Queensland. In 2001, we began a journey into the world of complex cognitive neurological disability (Autism), a journey that, after 20 years, formed the text of this book. This book' Faith in the Shadows' comes to you from the real-world experience of parents living on the Other Side of the Fence, looking into the shadowy world of the one they love.

What is the Purpose of the book:

This book aims to investigate and comment on the realities of Faith and Disability in the life of a complex – diagnosis disabled person. This book looks at how disability impacts upon and interacts with the human body – the spiritual nature of a disabled person in order to discover theological, practical, and encouraging strategies for them, their families, carers, pastors, church leaders, friends and colleagues in the wider community.

Why the long Discussion?

This book is not a short read, and it will take some time to work through the discussion towards our conclusion; however, the following points are worth noting as we prepare to engage in our discussion on life and 'faith' in the Shadow World.

To understand the challenges that disability can bring to a discussion on faith and inclusion, I thought we needed a basic overview of disability and how it might impact thought and expression concerning faith in God. Establishing definitions and boundaries clears up a lot of mis-information about faith and disability, particularly about disability and faith in their core principles.

As caring for a disabled person can, at times, be 'hard-yakka,' so too reading this book. However, the rewards are great. As you read this book, you will discover new dimensions of faith and inclusion for disabled people in the Body of Christ on Earth.


"The Shadow World of disability is, at times, a place where customary, liturgical, and creedal practices used in faith communities are either inoperative or, at worst, ineffectual. In the Shadow World of disability, we need to learn a 'new language' if we are to understand, recognise, and process the faith responses of those we love and care for. This book explores, in a relational manner, the subject of faith and disability, proposing new forms of inclusion and acceptance in the life of those who believe and are disabled. The conclusions drawn are pro-active and seek an increased dialogue between form and faith within the fellowship and worship of our faith communities."
(Faith in the Shadows: The Other Side of the Fence, page 3)


It was a great idea to educate our people about the importance of gaining an insight into the plight of the disadvantaged in achieving recognition within the church.

Allan Templeton - B.A. (Psychology)

This investigation of Faith and Disability will be of great value for leaders in church and youth group settings, as well as all believers.

Joannie Degnan Barth - M. Ed, Special Education Teacher

Faith in the Shadows gives a voice in writing to those can cannot operate in the world in a usual manner.

Jody Plecas - Australian Catholic University

The Final Word on Faith in the Shadows:

Finally, and most importantly, we need to establish and remember that the Shadow World is a place where real people live, where they experience joy and pain, gladness, and sorrow, hope and disappointment, dreams and ambitions, faith, and life just like you and I do.

In Faith in the Shadows, we establish the principles that.

  • The Shadow World is a place where things are often clouded, but it is also a place where real people live, and,

  • Although the Shadow World is often a place clouded from our eyes it is a place of 'being' where 'faith,' and the love of God, are a reality for those who live there.

Order Now
Made with