The Paradox of Disability: Responses to Jean Vanier and L'Arche Communities from Theology and the Sciences

Overview

The village of Trosly-Breuil in northern France is home to the first of well over one hundred L'Arche communities worldwide, where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together. In 2007 an impressive assortment of social scientists and theologians gathered there to offer responses to a question posed by L'Arche's visionary founding leader, Jean Vanier: "What have people with disabilities taught me?" Their answers are here presented in a diverse ...

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Overview

The village of Trosly-Breuil in northern France is home to the first of well over one hundred L'Arche communities worldwide, where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together. In 2007 an impressive assortment of social scientists and theologians gathered there to offer responses to a question posed by L'Arche's visionary founding leader, Jean Vanier: "What have people with disabilities taught me?" Their answers are here presented in a diverse collection of essays.

Editor Hans Reinders emphasizes that these analyses and reflections-like the L'Arche communities that inspired them-are not meant to set apart those with disabilities. Rather, they encourage people of all abilities humbly to acknowledge that to be human is to live with brokenness and limitation-and that to experience true community we must first learn to receive other people as God's gift.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780802865113
  • Publisher: Eerdmans, William B. Publishing Company
  • Publication date: 7/15/2010
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Hans S. Reinders is the Bernard Lievegoed Professor of Ethics and Mental Disability at the Free University of Amsterdam. He is also the author of Receiving the Gift of Friendship: Profound Disability, Theological Anthropology, and Ethics.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii

I Introduction

Human Vulnerability: A Conversation at L'Arche Hans S. Reinders 3

II The Call

1 What Have People with Learning Disabilities Taught Me? Jean Vanier 19

III Responses From The Sciences

The Psychology of Love and Recognition

2 Drawing Closer: Preserving Love in the Face of "Hypercognitive" Values Stephen G. Post 27

3 Dementia: A Spiritual Journey for the Patient and the Caregivers Christina Puchalski 37

4 Effects of Social Exclusion and Interpersonal Rejection: An Overview with Implications for Human Disability Roy F. Baumeister 51

Moral Transformation

5 Moral Transformation in L'Arche Communities for People with Developmental Disabilities Kevin S. Reimer 60

6 Disability Attitudes, Cultural Conditions, and the Moral Imagination Pamela Cushing 75

Anthropology

7 The Sign of Contradiction Xavier Le Pichon 94

IV Responses From Theology

Identity and Community

8 Learning from People with Disabilities: How to Ask the Right Questions William C. Gaventa 103

The Peace and Justice of L'Arche

9 Seeing Peace: L'Arche as a Peace Movement Stanley Hauerwas 113

10 Supererogation and the Riskiness of Human Vulnerability Brian Brock 127

Ways of Knowing God

11 Known by God John Swinton 140

12 Watch the Lilies of the Field: Theological Reflections on Profound Disability and Time Hans S. Reinders 154

The Paradox of Disability

13 On the Importance of Suffering: The Paradoxes of Disability Christopher Newell 169

Index 180

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