Faith and Light
The Province of the Northern Lights
An international Christian association for people with intellectual disabilities, their parents and friends.
The Province of the Northern Lights consists of Faith and Light groups in Denmark, Estonia, Norway and Sweden.
“Let us meet across differences – intellectual, cultural, national, racial, religious” says L’Arche founder Jean Vanier.
Jean Vanier, founder of both the L’Arche and Faith and Light movements receives the 2015 Templeton Prize. Now 86, has extended his advocacy of belonging and social justice, with years of leadership efforts across the globe to nurture dialogue and unity among Christians, Hindus, Jews, Muslims and other faiths through lectures, conferences and retreats around the world. His scholarship includes more than 30 books translated into 29 languages.
“People with intellectual disabilities have unique gifts of the heart and can open us to love in a special way. Isn’t it because so often they have been humiliated and pushed aside as useless? They are not crying out for advancement or knowledge or power, but simply for a personal relationship of love,” says J. Vanier.
Jean Vanier joins a distinguished group of 44 former recipients of the Prize including Mother Teresa, who received the inaugural award in 1973, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1983), and Canadian philosopher Charles Taylor (2007). Last year’s Templeton Prize recipient, Czech priest and philosopher Tomáš Halík, followed Desmond Tutu, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2013 and the 2012 Templeton Laureate, the Dalai Lama.
The Templeton Prize is one of the world's largest annual awards given to an individual and honours a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension.
Established in 1972 by the late global investor and philanthropist Sir John Templeton, the Prize is a cornerstone of the John Templeton Foundation’s international efforts to serve as a philanthropic catalyst for discoveries relating to the Big Questions of human purpose and ultimate reality.