Reading Guides, Volume 9

Jean Vanier – Introductory Reading Guide to His Books

Jean Vanier Books

Tomorrow (Sept. 10) is the birthday of Jean Vanier, the founder of the L’Arche communities.

To mark the occasion, we offer the following introductory reading guide to his most significant books.

We’ve ordered this list in the order that we think the books should be read, and offered a brief explanation of why each book was included. We’ve also included excerpts of most the books via Google Books.


8. Encountering ‘the Other’


A brief book that introduces some of Vanier’s most salient ideas about Christian hospitality. If you don’t have the time to read Befriending the Stranger, this shorter volume might be a better place to start reading about Vanier’s understanding of hospitality.


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Image Credit: Kotukaran, Creative Commons License via Wikimedia Commons (Cropped)



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C. Christopher Smith is the founding editor of The Englewood Review of Books. He is also author of a number of books, including most recently How the Body of Christ Talks: Recovering the Practice of Conversation in the Church (Brazos Press, 2019). Connect with him online at:

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