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Adam: God's Beloved [Hardcover]

By Henri J. M. Nouwen (Author)
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Item Number 119030  
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Item description for Adam: God's Beloved by Henri J. M. Nouwen...

The death of his friend Adam, a severely handicapped young man, spurred Henry Nouwen to write this book. He discovered that by reflecting on the story of this young man, he had found a way to describe his own understanding of the Gospel message. In "Adam", a book completed only weeks before his own death, Nouwen has left a fitting reflection of his own essential message and legacy.

Publishers Description
The death of his friend Adam, a severely handicapped young man, spurred Henry Nouwen to write this book. He discovered that by reflecting on the story of this young man, he had found a way to describe his own understanding of the Gospel message. In "Adam," a book completed only weeks before his own death, Nouwen has left a fitting reflection of his own essential message and legacy.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Orbis Books
Pages   128
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.56" Width: 5.74" Height: 0.57"
Weight:   0.62 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   May 1, 1999
Publisher   Orbis Books
ISBN  1570751331  
ISBN13  9781570751332  

Availability  0 units.

More About Henri J. M. Nouwen

Henri J. M. Nouwen Donald McNeill is a priest of the Congregation of Holy Cross. Don taught theology and developed service learning programs at the University of Notre Dame for three decades where he helped found the Center for Social Concerns. He is currently a Senior Fellow living and ministering in Chicago with the Metropolitan Chicago initiative of Notre Dame's Institute for Latino Studies.
Douglas A. Morrison is a priest of the Archdiocese of Hatford whose background includes parish, hospital and pastoral conseling ministries as well as college and university teaching and administration. He is presently Deputy Director and CEO of Unity Health Care, Inc., whose mission is to provide health and human services to the homeless and underserved in Washington D.C.
Henri Nouwen was a priest of the Archdiocese of Utrecht, the Netherlands. Since his death in 1996, ever-increasing numbers of readers, writers, teachers, and seekers have been guided by his literary legacy. Henri taught at the University of Notre Dame, and the Divinity Schools of Yale and Harvard. In 1986 Nouwen came to make his home at L'Arche Daybreak near Toronto, Canada. He died suddenly on September 21, 1996. in Holland and is buried in King City, Ontario.
Joel Filartiga, a medical doctor in Paraguay, drew the illustrations for this book in memory of his seventeen-year-old son, Joelito, who was tortured to death by a police squad in 1976.

Henri J. M. Nouwen was born in 1932 and died in 1996.

Henri J. M. Nouwen has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Campion Book
  2. Crossroad Book
  3. Henri Nouwen Spirituality

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Reviews - What do customers think about Adam: God's Beloved?

Inspiring Text  Jul 2, 2008
This text by Henri Nouwen will touch the soul of your being and recognize that Christ lives in the most humblest and forgotten around us.
Simple book with a simple message  Nov 29, 2007
Henry Nouwen, professor of spirituality at some of America's most prestigious universities, the writer of numerous popular-yet-subtle theological and reflective works, found his greatest calling in his daily care of Adam Arnett, a severely disabled man. Nouwen was charged with caring for Adam for 2 hours a day at L'Arche Daybreak in Toronto, a home where caregivers lived together with those they cared for.This biographical sketch of Adam's life and death was Nouwen's final work before his own death in 1996.

"Adam, God's Beloved" is simple, even in comparison with Nouwen's other work, which while profound, is always quite accessible. Nouwen almost provocatively lays out Adam's life in parallel with the seemingly more active and productive life of Christ. Like the Lord, Adam had his hidden years, and experienced a desert, a ministry, and passion, death and resurrection. Due to the severity of his disabilities, which left him unable to speak and barely able to feed himself, Adam's mission was often seen reflected in the lives of those who cared for him. Unable to act, he was constantly acted upon. And it is this observation that Nouwen sees as seminal to understanding Adam as "beloved." Like Jesus, Adam needs to accomplish nothing in order to be loved by God. Adam's very inability to act reveals what is at the core of his meaning, as it is of ours, that God loves *him*, the person -- not his accomplishments, his looks or his possessions. This insight is both extremely simple to express and extremely difficult to live. That Nouwen himself, after decades of teaching and living the spiritual life, did not fully appreciate this insight points to its almost unreachable depth.

This book celebrates Adam's life and the love of those who cared for him, especially his parents, Rex and Jeanne Arnett and his brother Michael, but also of the many workers at L'Arche. But the book also attempts to communicate the humanness -- the pure belovedness -- of Adam to those who never met him. And perhaps to challenge them to connect with their own lack of a feeling of belovedness, and the misery that this lack produces. This is a one-insight book, and cannot adequately substitute for the work of achieveing it, but it may be as close as many of us ever come to it.
Nouwen At His Personal Best  Oct 28, 2006
ADAM: GOD'S BELOVED may not be Henri Nouwen as a writer at his best, but in many ways it is Henri Nouwen as a priest and a person at his best. I know that this sounds like a contradiction, but a reading of the introduction of the book by Sue Mosteller explains some of the difficulties of this book. First, it was a bit of a rush job and the version we have today may not have been the final version had Nouwen not died prior to its publication. Even his last editor Robert Ellsberg in an article called "Editing Henri" (part of a collection of articles in a book titled REMEMBERING HENRI, a volume celebrating the life and work of Henri Nouwen) wasn't sure what Nouwen wanted to accomplish in this book until he read the final version and thought about what it said about Henri Nouwen as a person. Ellsberg's approach may be the best way to approach ADAM.

ADAM tells the story of Adam Arnett, a severely disabled young man Nouwen met while living at Daybreak, a L'Arche community comprised of people of differing abilities, founded by Jean Vanier. In sum, Nouwen cares for Adam's personal needs and believes he comes face to face with the suffering Christ and sees through Adam that every life is important and has a purpose. This is basically a summary of the book and there are many writers, most notably Vanier himself, who speak eloquently about the role of the disabled in society and how the disabled reflect the life of Christ. Like many readers, as some other this site reviews will attest, I expected more, or at least I expected more as I read the book. I admired Nouwen for venturing into a place where too many look away, but I hoped for more profound insights from this person who shared so much with so many. I do not believe there is another spiritual writer who has shed light on so many topics, who can be deep and profound yet also simple.

After reading the book, I thought about what I read, which would makes Henri Nouwen happy since he always wanted people to stop and reflect, then I realized what may make this book so important in understanding Henri Nouwen. Nouwen spent his life feeding others spiritually, finding all sorts of ways people could find God and meaning in life. When he arrived at Daybreak, he was both physically and emotionally exhausted, knowing that so many expected so much from him. Adam, whose well being depended on the care of so many, needed Nouwen too, but in a different way than those who wanted to hear him speak or read his next book. As Nouwen served Adam's needs he felt something he hadn't felt before, namely unconditional love and experienced the presence of Christ. Nouwen finally experienced what he provided for so many in his care for Adam. He needed to share this story. No doubt it would have been different if he had lived longer, or another volume with deeper insights would have been published at a later date, but for readers who loved Nouwen's writing and believe we know the man through his works, realizing he was able to experience what he so freely shared with others makes this work indispensable in understanding Nouwen and left me with a good feeling knowing he experienced the riches he so generously shared with others.
Polite Dissent  Oct 5, 2004
I'm the father of an eight-year old boy with Down Syndrome. I cherish and value the disabled. I wanted to love this book, which tells the story of the author's relationship with a severely disabled man. But, really, honestly, it isn't that good. It was unfinished at Nouwen's death and retains a half-baked, rushed quality. There is remarkably little description of Adam's everyday life: indeed, for every sentence about Adam, there must be three or four about Nouwen's interior life. At times, Nouwen sentimentalizes and "theologizes" the severely disabled, which is another way of obscuring their humanity. Nouwen meant well, the publishers meant well -- but "Adam" just ain't that great.
Book was Great  May 4, 2004
This book was recommended by a neighborhood childhood friend who I greatly respect, and I ended up greatly respecting this book.
It's a deeply moving account of what it is like to live day by day with a severely disabled man named Adam. In Adam, the priest, Henri Nouwen, finds a spiritual treasure, a new way of looking at the world, that transcends his immersion in religion so far in his life. As the father of an autistic child, I was brought to quiet tears many times. He saw Adam as a great teacher, as I also see my son Stephen, who has severe autism.
His book will no doubt get you to to look at life from a completely different and fresh viewpoint. Thank you to Ann my
wonderful Catholic friend for having this book touch my life. :)

Jeffrey McAndrew
author of "Our Brown-Eyed Boy" and radio broadcaster


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