Call for symposium proposals

From May 18-20, 2006, Toronto’s University of St. Michael’s College, Regis College, L’Arche Daybreak and the Henri Nouwen Societies of Canada, the United States and Netherlands will host Turning the Wheel: Henri Nouwen and Our Search for God to mark the 10th anniversary of Henri Nouwen’s death.

Henri Nouwen
Henri Nouwen

The three-day event will bring together scholars, students, ministers and spiritual seekers to explore themes and ideas that preoccupied Nouwen in his lifetime and which have particular relevance in today’s context. The event will include an optional one-day gathering at L’Arche Daybreak and a two-day symposium.

The organizers are seeking symposium proposals for individual presentations, full sessions and workshops that will address the relevance of Henri Nouwen’s vision of spiritual life from a variety of perspectives.

The presentations should be approximately 20 to 30 minutes in length and will address one or more topics related to the conference theme. The deadline for the proposals is Nov. 1, 2005. A committee will review the proposals and will give responses by the end of January 2006.

Born in Nijkerk, Holland, in 1932, Henri Nouwen was an internationally renowned priest, respected professor and author who wrote over 40 books on spiritual life. He was ordained in 1957 as a diocesan priest and studied psychology at the Catholic University of Nijmegen. In 1964 he moved to the United States to study at the Menninger Clinic. He went on to teach at the University of Notre Dame, and the Divinity Schools of Yale and Harvard. For several months during the 1970s, Nouwen lived and worked with Trappist monks in the Abbey of the Genesee, and in the early 1980s he lived with the poor in Peru.

In 1985 he was called to join L’Arche in Trosly, France, the first of more than 100 communities founded by Jean Vanier where people with developmental disabilities live with assistants. A year later Nouwen came to make his home at L’Arche Daybreak near Toronto. He died suddenly on Sept. 21, 1996, in Holland and is buried in King City, Ont.

For detailed information on the Conference and Symposium proposals please visit

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