GREENSBORO, N.C. – Two Greensboro College students will present research during a conference on theology and disability June 14 in Raleigh.
The two, Alla Alaghbri and Abigail Bügger, will join Benjamin Wall, assistant professor of religion at Greensboro College, in presenting their work on “The Continuing Significance of Jean Vanier” at the Summer Institute on Theology and Disability, sponsored by the Collaborative on Faith and Disabilities.
Vanier, a Canadian theologian, founded L’Arche, an international federation of communities for people with developmental disabilities and those who care for them.
Alaghbri will present research from his paper “The Child in Vanier’s Works” on language, for Vanier, is a medium of cultural protest, particular in relation to Vanier’s symbolic use of the child throughout his works as a metaphor or symbol that explains the experiences and gifts of people with disabilities. Alaghbri is a senior history/religion major and humanities minor from High Point, N.C.
Bügger will present information on how she has been developing an agrarian way of reading Vanier and L’Arche as a model and metaphor for preserving the sacredness of Earth. Bügger is a senior religion and art major and psychology and sociology minor from Raleigh, N.C.
Their work stems from a theology class Wall taught a year ago on Vanier and theological anthropology.
Wall delivered the 2017 Jean Vanier Emerging Scholar Lecture at the Summer Institute. His first book, “Welcome as a Way of Life: A Practical Theology of Jean Vanier,” was published in July 2017. His doctoral thesis also addressed the theological and social forming dynamics of Vanier’s work with L’Arche.
The Summer Institute annually brings together leading scholars and writers in the areas of theology and disability with clergy, religious leaders, practitioners, laity and others who are interested and involved in inclusive ministries and faith supports.
The Collaborative on Faith and Disabilities supports people with disabilities, their families, and those who support them by providing national and international leadership in the areas of research, education, service, and dissemination related to disability, religion, and inclusive supports.
Greensboro College provides a liberal arts education grounded in the traditions of the United Methodist Church and fosters the intellectual, social, and, spiritual development of all students while supporting their individual needs.
Founded in 1838 and located in downtown Greensboro, the college enrolls about 1,000 students from 29 states and territories, the District of Columbia, and seven foreign countries in its undergraduate liberal-arts program and four master’s degree programs. In addition to rigorous academics and a well-supported Honors program, the school features an 18-sport NCAA Division III athletic program and dozens of service and recreational opportunities.
Lex Alexander, Director of Communications
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