The wisdom of L'Arche and the practices of care: disability, professional wisdom and encounter-in-community

John Swinton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


I approach the issue of professional wisdom from a rather unusual professional background. I am currently professor in Practical Theology at the University of Aberdeen. However, my background is in nursing and hospital chaplaincy. I nursed for 16 years within the areas of mental health, and latterly intellectual disability. Later, I became a community mental health chaplain, working with people who were moving from long-term institutional care back into the community. Along the way, I became an ordained minister in the Church of Scotland before taking up my current post as an academic. So my life traverses three professions: nursing, ministry and divinity. Each of these professions has a slightly different perspective on what it means to be a professional, and each has a different mode of wisdom and encounter.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTowards Professional Wisdom
Subtitle of host publicationPractical Deliberation in the People Professions
EditorsLiz Bondi, David Carr, Chris Clark, Cecelia Clegg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic) 9781315550534
ISBN (Print)9781409407430, 9781409407423
Publication statusPublished - 5 Oct 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)
  • Arts and Humanities(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

Swinton, J. (2011). The wisdom of L'Arche and the practices of care: disability, professional wisdom and encounter-in-community. In L. Bondi, D. Carr, C. Clark, & C. Clegg (Eds.), Towards Professional Wisdom: Practical Deliberation in the People Professions (pp. 153-168). [10] Ashgate .