Duke University ran a series of talks, Living Gently in a Violent World, by Jean Vanier and Stanley Hauerwas in early November, 2008. For those who are not already familiar with these men, their work is difficult to describe. It is deeply Christian and deeply spiritual in its approach to disability, but it also goes beyond Christianity and speaks profoundly to those with of other faiths or secular approaches to philosophy.
Vanier is a philosopher and the founder of L’Arche, an organization that creates intentional communities , where people with and without intellectual disabilities live together. L’Arche was founded in 1964 when Jean Vanier invited two men with developmental disabilities, who were living in an French institution to move in with him. Today, there are L’Arche homes in 34 different countries on six continents. In Canada, there are currently about 200 L’Arche homes organized into 27 L’Arche Communities across the country.
This series of talks is available in audio format for anyone interested from the Duke University School of Divinity. In my opinion, they are well worth listening to.
**Parental discretion advised for strong language: Lectures contain frequent Christian and Spiritual references.