L'Arche: The successes of community, the challenges of empowerment in a faith-centered setting

Katherine E. McDonald, Christopher B. Keys

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Scopus citations


L'Arche communities offer faith-centered, shared community living for individuals with and without intellectual disabilities. L'Arche communities focus primarily on deepening social ties for persons with intellectual disabilities in an international context that increasingly focuses on the empowerment of this group. Several theoretical distinctions between sense of community and empowerment point to natural tensions between the two concepts. However, a further analysis uncovers the potential for positive interplay between them. Here, we present a narrative informed by experience that explores the differential effects of a deepened sense of community on empowerment within a faith-centered setting, L'Arche. Implications for creating theory and settings that promote synergy between sense of community and empowerment are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-28
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Religion, Disability and Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 5 2006



  • Empowerment
  • Faith-based community living
  • Intellectual disabilities
  • L'Arche
  • Sense of community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Religious studies
  • Law

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