The Summer Institute of Theology and Disability (SITD) announces the inauguration of a new annual lecture series named the Jean Vanier Emerging Scholar Lecture. As the patron of this lecture, Jean Vanier does not need an introduction for anyone who is familiar with the field of theology and disability. Not only has he been awarded the Templeton Prize 2015 for his life and work as the founder and leader of L’Arche, he also exemplifies the aspiration of the SITD to combine reflection upon the lives of persons with disabilities and their families with actual engagement in such lives. More than almost everyone else in this field, Vanier demonstrates the truth of studying and thinking about disability as a second order
undertaking. In his case: L’Arche has to be lived before it can be the subject matter of reflection.

Since the SITD got started in 2010, we have seen the emergence of new scholars entering the field with their PhD thesis and/or other publications. By establishing an annual plenary lecture of 50 minutes, the Summer Institute seeks to honor this development by providing a podium for one of these emerging scholars each year to present themselves to a wider audience. Potential candidates are asked to do this with an original lecture that may build upon, but does not repeat (part)
of their thesis.

Candidates for the first edition of the Jean Vanier Emerging Scholar lecture will meet the following criteria:

  • Anyone with an academic degree obtained after January 1, 2012 in theology, divinity, or religious studies or another discipline that meets the
    second criteria
  • The subject matter of their PhD thesis is disability in relation to spirituality,
    faith or religion.

Names of possible candidates can be brought to the attention of the SITD Faculty. Applicants submit a copy of the thesis on which their application is based to the Faculty, together with two letters of recommendation from independent referees (being persons who have not been part of the supervision of their thesis). A candidate may self-nominate as long as the letters of recommendation come with the application. The candidate chosen will speak at one of the plenary sessions and have their expenses paid for the Summer Institute.

Send nomination and letters of reference to Hans Reinders and Bill Gaventa.

The deadline for the 2016 application is January 1, 2016, News of Award by February 1, 2016.

To download the announcement, click here.