Book notes


The Paradox of Disability: Responses to Jean Vanier and L’Arche Communities from Theology and the Sciences
Hans S. Reinders, ed.

Eerdmans, 2010
183 pages



Suffering, according to this literary tribute to L’ Arche communities founder Jean Vanier, is the result, not of disabilities, but society’s attitudes toward them. In response to common assumptions, such as worship demands intellect, dementia diminishes personhood, and suffering must be eliminated, The Paradox of Disability offers a refreshing new script. Twelve experts in psychology, anthropology, and theology came together to glean insights on peace, belonging, worship, patience, and imagination from Vanier’s countercultural communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together. An essential read not only for medical ethicists, church leaders, and caregivers, but for all who desire true community, The Paradox of Disability has the power to transform pity into celebration through vignettes where “labels and the characterizations as ‘other’ begin to fade.” As Juergen Moltmann said, “For every human life is limited, vulnerable, and weak.”

—Angeline Schellenberg

Life journeys: The stories of the Eden High School class of ’55
Harold Jantz, Ed.

Privately published, 2011
180 pages
Limited edition



Life journeys is a collection of 25 life stories (21 written by the subjects themselves) of a group of Mennonite young people who graduated in 1955 from Eden High School, the Ontario Mennonite Brethren secondary school. Released in February, the book provides an illuminating snapshot of where the life journeys of this group of children of immigrant families or immigrants themselves took them in the half century that followed. A high number chose teaching at one time or another, some chose farming, some business, some politics, many were in church ministries. Nearly a third spent a year or years living and working abroad. One worked with staff of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, another was the mayor of Waterloo, Ont., one helped develop a school in Brazil, another helped a Siberian village rebuild after Communism. Life Journeys tells their stories.

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