“My vision is that belonging should be at the heart of a fundamental discovery: that we all belong to a common humanity, the human race. We may be rooted in a specific family and culture but we come to this earth to open up to others, to serve them and receive the gifts they bring to us, as well as to all of humanity.”



The Centre’s mandate is to create opportunities for research and critical analysis to be done on Jean Vanier’s ideas and life works, and ideas and work related to, or inspired by him, to share that research.  The Centre’s key function is to create, support and promote projects and initiatives in the following areas:

Scholarly research, and dissemination of Jean Vanier’s scholarly work through

  1. Academic gatherings and regular symposiums;
  2. Publication of relevant books and articles;
  3. Support of professors to create lectures, classes, or assignments that would explore and expand upon the themes in Vanier’s work.

Database of scholarly work pertaining to Jean Vanier:  To gather items such as research about Jean Vanier’s ideas, books, and audio-video artefacts and have them catalogued or made accessible by the Cardinal Carter Library at King’s for students and other researchers on a library platform and with a public-facing interface. The Centre will identify which thematic areas are well-researched on Jean’s insights, and where there is a dearth of research on key insights.


Knowledge Capture:  To provide opportunities for researchers to engage in projects, conferences and symposia to identify and study key themes inspired by Vanier’s work. To oversee the gathering and cataloguing of existing research and writing on, or related to, Vanier’s ideas and make it accessible within university libraries and for the public.

Knowledge Analysis: To analyze Vanier insights and impacts in these ways:

  • Contextualize:  Map his insights into existing contemporary literature and practices to demonstrate where they fit into the history of ideas and what makes them distinct, compelling or challenging
  • Critically Analyze:  Shine the light of scholarly analysis on Vanier ’s writing and ideas. Identify common critiques of his ideas and provide either improved explanations, counter-arguments, or reasons why the critique is valid and what might be said to address it.  
  • Extend and improvise: Invite individual scholars or non-profit leaders to explain how they have adjusted, updated, clarified or extended his insights in new ways.

Knowledge dissemination: To actively share the research findings to promote broader awareness in and outside the academy, of what his key ideas are and what influence they had in the academy and applied health fields. 

  • Support opportunities for research by King’s/Western undergraduate and graduate students through collaborations with Jean Vanier Research Centre, Disabilty Studies and related courses.
  • Support further scholarly writing, analysis and research on Vanier’s ideas among professors and like-minded non-profits.
  • Make primary source materials about Vanier more widely available through the library system and a public-facing site.

In partnership with the Jean Vanier Association, develop a communications strategy for sharing scholarly research, interpretation, application and critique of his ideas.

For questions or more information about the Jean Vanier Research Centre, please email jvrc@kings.uwo.ca