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Carolyn Whitney-Brown

Photo: photo by Monica Whitney-Brown 2020

Dr. Carolyn Whitney-Brown (she/her) completed her B.A. at Victoria College, University of Toronto, and her M.A. and Ph.D. at Brown University in Rhode Island. Her doctoral thesis explored social and political meanings of childbirth stories in sixteenth and seventeenth-century England, using a wide variety of texts including drama, poetry, legal cases, midwifery manuals, diaries, theological discussions, homilies and popular news. Her research interests continue to investigate how stories are told, and which stories remain important in diverse historical and cultural contexts.

Dr. Whitney-Brown lived at L'Arche Daybreak in Richmond Hill for seven years, and since then has completed projects for L'Arche Canada and L'Arche International. Founded in 1964 in France, L'Arche is an international Federation of communities where people with and without intellectual disabilities live and work together. Her two commissioned door paintings can be seen at the Dayspring Chapel of L'Arche Daybreak. After leaving L'Arche, Dr. Whitney-Brown coordinated national projects for the Canadian Council of Churches and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and for The United Church of Canada. She is presently a fellow at University of Victoria's Centre for Studies in Religion and Society, and teaches Religious Studies for St. Jerome's University at University of Waterloo.

Her publications include three books, as well as essays in In Another Country: Feminist Perspectives on Renaissance Drama (1991), Northern Lights: An Anthology of Contemporary Christian Writing in Canada (2008) and Remembering Henri (2006), and the Foreword to DLT (Darton Longman and Todd)'s 1997 and 2013 editions of Henri Nouwen's Road to Daybreak.

Following the Feb 2020 news of Jean Vanier's manipulative sexual behaviour, Broadview magazine interviewed Dr. Whitney-Brown:

Her further reflections about Jean Vanier from March 2020 can be found under the Related Links tab at:

Her next book will be published by HarperOne in 2022. Provisionally titled Flying, Falling, Catching: An Unlikely Story of Finding Freedom, the book is co-authored with the late Henri J. M. Nouwen. It tells the story of Nouwen's friendship with the Flying Rodleighs trapeze troupe, and why his last manuscript was left unfinished at his death in 1996.

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada


Tender to the World: Jean Vanier, L'Arche and the United Church of Canada. McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019
Sharing Life: Stories of L'Arche Founders. Paulist Press, 2019
Jean Vanier: Essential Writings. Orbis (2008), Novalis (2008) and DLT (2008 and 2019)
Flying, Falling, Catching: An Unlikely Story of Finding Freedom. HarperOne, 2022
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


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