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Jean Vanier wins Templeton Prize

by Desmond Busteed

The 86-year-old academic has been recognised for his work with people who have intellectual disabilities.

He's the founder of L'Arche, an organisation described as a revolutionary international network of communities where people with and without disabilities live and work together as peers.

It's said to foster two-way relationships where those who help are transformed by those they encounter.  Jean Vanier discovered that those people society typically considers the weakest enable the strong to recognise and welcome their own vulnerability.

Speaking to Premier, Mr Vanier said he would be re-investing the money back into his own organisations: "Two associations we have in order to help people with disabilities, to help them to discover who they are and help society to discover who they are and the beauty they have."

The Templeton Prize is one of the world's largest annual awards given to an individual and honours a living person who has made a significant contribution to helping people understand matters of religion and belief.

The Templeton Foundation's aims are based in fostering dialogue among scientists, philosophers, and theologians. It also aims to foster dialogue between these experts and the public at large, for the purposes of what they describe as "definitional clarity and new insights".

Listen to Jean Vanier speaking to Premier's Justin Brierley.

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