I agree with this perceptive quote by Jean Vanier. I think that we all have our own disabilities in some ways, not necessarily in physical form but rather we all have some brokenness and fragilities within us that we want to hide from the society, many a times, because society as a whole generally is not very kind and understanding towards our brokenness and fragilities, due to their competitive mindset. So the act of excluding from the normal life of society people with disabilities that are visible also has profound lessons to teach us, as it probably is a symptom of how we have not embraced and accepted our own brokenness and fragilities. Only when we embrace our own disabilities will we also be able to accept others with disabilities. Similarly, by learning to embrace the otherness in themselves, they will be able to accept others who are different from them without attempting to convert them to their own beliefs. Perhaps all disabled people, in the sense that includes everyone, can gain some insight and inspiration here.

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Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. From Brokenness to Community by Jean Vanier. The lectures in this volume witness the importance of the meeting between the university of the learned and the university of the poor.

From them a deep understanding of true discipleship emerges. Get A Copy. Paperback , 56 pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 2. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about From Brokenness to Community , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about From Brokenness to Community. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews.

Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. Sort order. Start your review of From Brokenness to Community. Oct 19, Monique rated it really liked it Shelves: christianity , non-fiction , reads. Vanier reminds me a lot of Nouwen, in that you should read with discernment as there are some theological missteps. However, this is a beautiful little book about community as a whole and the L'Arche community which Vanier founded.

View 2 comments. Oct 04, Luke Hillier rated it really liked it Shelves: religion. When I received this book in the mail, having neglected to check the page count before I ordered it, I couldn't help but laugh at how tiny it was.

A mere 52 pages, it really is a bit comical to hold it in your hands, and yet it still managed to pack a punch between its covers. I found myself underlining quite a bit of this and much of what he said resonated a lot with me. I wouldn't necessarily say that any of it was mindblowing or even felt very new especially after reading his larger work, Co When I received this book in the mail, having neglected to check the page count before I ordered it, I couldn't help but laugh at how tiny it was.

I wouldn't necessarily say that any of it was mindblowing or even felt very new especially after reading his larger work, Community And Growth , and lots of Henri J. Nouwen , but it bore repeating. One thing I found interesting, especially after reading a lot of liberation theology, is my discomfort with his use of the beatitudes and the notion of poverty.

There is no doubt that people with severe mental and physical disabilities are to be counted among the oppressed of the world and in most cases are indeed poor, and I don't even disagree with his invitation for all to become spiritually poor to experience the Kingdom of God. However, it seemed as though his words could be used to obfuscate God's identification with the materially poor uniquely beyond the more abstract spiritually poor and the socio-political and economic implications that that has.

Towards the end of the book, he sort of chastises "clubs" against racism, nuclear war, etc. While I think that could potentially be really true and convicting, I was disappointed in his failure to recognize that now all antagonism is created equal that of the oppressor towards the oppressed and vice versa and without the outward action and advocacy of these "clubs" there would likely be very little actual change With that said, if you can sort of excuse that element of the work, I do think the invitation into spiritual poverty is a really true and beautiful notion, and the book is still packed with helpful wisdom and insight on community living despite its size.

Feb 03, M rated it it was amazing. The first lecture is a beautiful testimony of the unity of human beings in our need for acceptance and love. He uses wonderful testimony from his L'Arche community. The second half is a brilliant lecture on community - our need for it and it's ability to become "a place of mediocrity" or true growth.

I would recommend this book for anyone who works with people, especially in the development of people i. This is two lectures given at Harvard Divinity School. In the first, as someone who was called to community with the mentally disabled, he talks about what he found those with whom he was called had to teach him. In the second, he speaks more broadly about community - its difficulty, its challenges to us, and its redeeming and resurrecting power.

All of this is in the context of Christ's call to us. These lectures are very powerful, and I highly recommend them. Great book on biblical community Loved his insight on the mentally ill participating in community.

Simple and profound. Apr 13, Brandon Desiderio rated it it was amazing. Infinitely re-readable. May 29, Andrew Parkhurst rated it it was amazing. If you've had the good fortune of getting this far make sure you read this highly impactful book. It will change your life. Feb 20, Jon Beadle rated it it was ok. Apr 04, Jeffrey Nelson rated it it was amazing.

Probably my favorite book of all time. Jean Vanier is the founder of the L'Arche Communities, an international federation of group homes for people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. In many ways, the title of this book reflects the simple, yet extremely profound message of this volume, and of Vanier's amazingly inspiring life: we all live in relationship, in community. It is in reco Probably my favorite book of all time. It is in recognizing that connection, in taking upon ourselves the opportunities and responsibilities of living our lives in that web, that the heart of spirituality is found.

It is, in short, in the midst of relationship -- creative relationship with ourselves, with others, and with the world at large -- that we find God. Nov 27, David rated it it was amazing Shelves: read Urgent, passionate call to seek the strength to pursue community. Vanier is the founder of L'Arche, a network of communities centered around care for and forming community with developmentally disabled adults.

These lectures, delivered at Harvard, are a concise introduction to the importance and transformative potential in turning away from the elevation of self and instead sacrificially devoting oneself to others. Vanier was a mentor and inspiration to the Christian thinker Henri Nouwen, too. No Urgent, passionate call to seek the strength to pursue community.

Nouwen eventually entered a L'Arche community. This is profound stuff, deeply antithetical to the priorities espoused by America and by Capital. It is thus, also, deeply important. Can any of us doubt the brokenness all around us right now? It's blaring from the TV and the computer screen each moment of every day. How can we begin to truly build community? There's much to consider here. Aug 10, EunSung rated it it was amazing. Apr 13, Tim rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in We have all been taught to live in a competitive world and to win, to be a success, and to move up the ladder of promotion and to get ahead.

It is hard then in community to stand back in order to help others grow and exercise their gifts. There is then in community a loss of aggressive competition cultivated in our societies. Nov 13, Albert Hong rated it really liked it. Vanier has a deep soul that imagines and lives out the world as God would intend it to be.

This last section on community as mission struck me today. Reminded me that the church does not exist only for itself but to be sent out for others. Oct 12, Tiffany rated it it was amazing. Taken from some of Jean Vanier's lectures, this is a short and captivating book about how we're able to grow in the context of community. I especially liked his idea of "the university of the poor" versus "the university of the learned," and how these can impact one another. Thanks to Weezel, I have a new book to address my Jones for community.

Very short in length, but profoundly stirring.


From Brokenness to Community

Witt lectures. The transcript was published in by Paulist Press. It is my belief that in our mad world, where there is so much pain, rivalry, hatred, violence, inequality and depression, that it is people who are weak, rejected, marginalized, and counted as useless, who can become a source of life and of salvation for us as individuals, as well as for our world…. Community is a wonderful place, it is life-giving; but it is also a place of pain, because it is a place of truth and of growth — the revelation of our pride, our fear and our brokenness. Go out to the world and bring the good news the others; do not keep it for yourselves.


From Brokenness to Community : The Wit Lectures (Howard University Divinity School)

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Jean Vanier: From Brokenness to Community

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Jean Vanier, “From Brokenness to Community”


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