Making Out Jean Vanier
Keywords:Jean Vanier, Kathryn Bond Stockton, L’Arche, de-metaphoring, community, patriarchy
In early 2020, news broke of Jean Vanier’s manipulative sexual practices. Just months earlier, I had published two books about how people in Canada and around the world took up the vision of Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche, an international network of communities of people with and without intellectual disabilities. Throughout this past year, I could not stop thinking about the whole situation, trying to make out Jean Vanier even while I want to de-center him. I find unexpected inspiration in queer theorist Kathryn Bond Stockton’s evocative book, Making Out. This reflection ends with no conclusions, only an invitation to think together about Jean Vanier and seemingly benign patriarchy.
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