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Friday, April 19, 2013

Genius Born of Anguish, Part 1

Henri Nouwen.  Photo courtesy of Frank Hamilton.
Henri Nouwen. Photo courtesy of Frank Hamilton.

"The greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection," said Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest, teacher and gay celibate.

He has been called a psychologist of the soul.  Born in Holland in 1932, Nouwen wrote thirty-nine books about spirituality

He was interested in the relationship between religion and psychology and studied at the Menninger Clinic, one of the world's leading psychiatric hospitals. 

He taught at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard. Concerned about people whom society had rejected, Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life working with people with intellectual disabilities at the Daybreak L'Arche community north of Toronto. A profile by Michael Higgins based on Nouwen's writings, interviews with those who knew him, and archival recordings of Nouwen himself.
Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen by Michael Higgins and Kevin Burns is published by Novalis.

Related Websites

The Henri Nouwen Organization
This is the "official home" of all things Nouwen. It contains good biographical details and links.

The Henri Nouwen Archive at the John M. Kelly Library, University of Toronto
This is the place to start for anyone wanting to know more about Nouwen's life and works.

This is a detailed "finding guide", which explains what is in the collection:

Henri Nouwen clips
Perhaps the most typical "performance" by Henri was the three-part presentation he gave at the Crystal Cathedral in California in 1992 and there are several ways to access this on YouTube:

Henri Nouwen Being the Beloved Sermon 1 of 8

Henri Nouwen Being the Beloved Sermon

Hour of Power - Netherlands

Henri Nouwen "channel"
There is a Henri Nouwen "channel" on YouTube, based in Canada. It features seven clips, including material broadcast on Salt and Light Television:

Henri Nouwen and L'Arche Daybreak

Jean Vanier's official home page

Spirituality and mental health
This is a helpful website operated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK. It contains good resources and links.

The Association for Spirituality and Mental Health in Canada