Talitha Cooreman-Guittin (chercheuse FSS post-doctorante en RSCS) a reçu, à Holland dans le Michigan (USA), le Prix Jean Vanier Emerging Scholar Lecture du Summer Institute on Theology and Disability pour sa thèse en théologie pratique (Univ. Strasbourg) sur la perception de la déficience intellectuelle dans la pédagogie catéchétique de l’Église. Talitha Cooreman-Guittin a donné une conférence plénière intitulée : « Cognitive impairment, spirituality and friendship : a reading of Lazarus from a dementia-perspective », dans laquelle elle reprend des éléments de sa recherche actuelle au sein de l’institut RSCS.
"In 2016, The Summer Institute of Theology and Disability inaugurated a new annual lecture series named the Jean Vanier Emerging Scholar Lecture. As the patron of this lecture, Jean Vanier does not need an introduction for anyone who is familiar with the field of theology and disability. Not only has he been awarded the Templeton Prize 2015 for his life and work as the founder and leader of L’Arche, he also exemplifies the aspiration of the SITD to combine reflection upon the lives of persons with disabilities and their families with actual engagement in such lives. Vanier demonstrates the truth of studying and thinking about disability as a second order undertaking. In his case: L'Arche has to be lived before it can be the subject matter of reflection.
Since SITD was started in 2010, we have seen the emergence of new scholars entering the field with their PhD thesis and/or other publications. By establishing an annual plenary lecture of 50 minutes, the Summer Institute seeks to honor this development by providing an opportunityfor one of these emerging scholars each year to present themselves to a wider audience."
Summary of the lecture by Talitha Cooreman :
"People who live with cognitive impairment or with dementia-related diseases often face the same problem: it is difficult for them to maintain friendships. This is, at least in part, due to what Tom Kitwood named malignant positioning. Activism around dementia related issues focusses on how to change our society’s perspectives on dementia. Our Churches can contribute to this, in order to counter the societal negativity that surrounds dementia and the mechanisms at work that make our contemporaries so fearful of dependence and the loss of certain cognitive faculties. Pedagogical work is necessary to combat negative feelings and educate everyone's gaze to see more than only the disappearance of possibilities. Like Saint Bonaventure, I suggest using Scripture as a corrective to a dark reading of the world. Can the story of Lazarus help us to shed a new light on how Christians can engage in society when confronted with dementia?"