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 A full length feature documentary film 'Notes on Blindness' based on John Hull's book, 'Touching the Rock' premiered at the Sundance Festival in Utah earlier in 2016 and will have its British premiere on June 12th at the Sheffield Documentary Festival. This film explores John's struggles with profound blindness, and indeed with the nature of loss.
For anyone who may have seen the original 12-minute film 'Notes on Blindness' (available on UTube etc) this is a much longer version, but with the same name! The short film was so successful (culminating in winning an Emmy in 2015 - see below) that the company raised enough money to make a more in-depth film. This is also doing very well, and has just won an award at the Tribeca Festival in New York.
The film uses John's voice throughout, incorporating original tape material as well as new recordings made right up until the month before he died. It is technically interesting at a number of levels, not least in its sister virtual reality project which is experienced separately from the film. Both are described on the website Notes on Blindness.
The directors will be talking about it at the Hay Festival - as well as in Australia and at festivals around Europe - and the London release will be in July 2016. (It will also be shown at a memorial event at The Church at Carrs Lane, central Birmingham, on July 20th - see the Home page of this website.) Thereafter we hope it will be in cinemas all over the place! Watch this space.

Following its showing on The New York Times streaming website, the original short film Notes on Blindness was awarded an Emmy in the
36th Annual News & Documentary Emmy® Awards, 2015, in the category NEW APPROACHES: ARTS, LIFESTYLE AND CULTURE.
"The News & Documentary Emmy® Awards recognize outstanding achievement in broadcast journalism and documentary filmmaking. The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences promotes journalistic excellence by awarding the coveted Emmy® to the very best news reports and documentary films aired on national television or streamed over the Internet each year." -

The Serpentine Gallery's Memory Marathon was the 2012 event in its annual 'festival of ideas'. During it, on Saturday 13th October, John Hull delivered an address on 'Blindness and memory: being reborn into a different world'. It can be watched here.
"Elaborating his experiences with blindness and memory, John Hull maintains that there is a strong link between his somatic inability to see and his inability to recall certain information. Hull affirms a link between bodily function and memory stating that 'the sighted world is a projection of their sighted bodies.' " Julian Vigo, Huffington Post UK.


As an introduction to John Hull's writings on blindness and disability, you can read his 1990 book Touching the Rock, an Experience of Blindness.  Published in several English editions and several foreign languages, the original edition is now out of print *.  It may be found in second-hand book shops, or could probably be borrowed from a public library.  Alternatively, everything in Touching the Rock is included in a new and enlarged edition with the title On Sight and Insight, a Journey into the World of Blindness (click on the title to read an excerpt).  Additional material makes it about one third as large again as the original.  You can buy either version through Amazon.
* In May 2013 the SPCK published a new edition of Touching the Rock: an Experience of Blindness, in their series of SPCK Classics. ISBN: 978-0-281-07073-2.  £10.99 (pb). You can order it at


Other books, articles and book chapters that John Hull has written on the subject of blindness and a theology of disability are:  
(Those added most recently are shown in bold)

Disability - The Inclusive Church Resource by John Hull and others. The Inclusive Church Resources Series (Series editor: Bob Callaghan). Paperback; 96pp; 178x110mm, July 2014.    Includes A Theology of Disability by John M. Hull    (The link is to the poster for the series, a 1.3 MB pdf.)

The Tactile Heart: Blindness and Faith, published by SCM Press on 30th August 2013. ISBN: 9780334049333. £25 (pb). You can order it at

‘Lord I was deaf’: Images of Disability in the Hymnbooks Stephen Burns, Nicola Slee and Michael Jagessar (eds) The Edge of God, New liturgical texts and contexts in conversation. London: Epworth 2009, pp 117-134.

John Hull interviewed by Sebastian Lübben Blindness, the Wind and the Holy Spirit: An interview with John M Hull by Sebastian D. Lübben, Epworth Review, Vol. 34, No. 1, January 2007, pp. 69-79.

In the Beginning there was Darkness, a Blind Person's Conversations with the Bible (2001).  This was published in the UK and in the USA - for details click on the title.

The Broken Body in a Broken World

Open Letter from a Blind Disciple to a Sighted Saviour

A Spirituality of Disability 

The Material Spirituality of Blindness and Money

Blindness and the Face of God

Could a blind person have been a disciple of Jesus?

Recognising another world

Do you think I am Stupid?

Sight to the inly Blind: Attitudes to Blindness in the Hymnbooks

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