Item description for Reaching Out: A Special Edition of the Spiritual Classic Including Beyond the Mirror by Henri J. M. Nouwen & Gerard W. Hughes...
Overview Henri Nouwen, who died in 1996, was one of the most significant writers on spirituality of the late twentieth century. Reaching Out combines two of his most popular books in one volume.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.6" Width: 5" Height: 0.5" Weight: 0.35 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 1998
Publisher Zondervan Publishing
ISBN 0006280862 ISBN13 9780006280866
Availability 0 units.
More About Henri J. M. Nouwen & Gerard W. Hughes
Henri J. M. Nouwen was a Catholic priest who taught at several theological institutes and universities in his home country of the Netherlands and in the United States. He shared the final years of his life with people with mental and physical disabilities at the L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, Canada. He died in 1996. He authored many books on the spiritual life, including Reaching Out, The Wounded Healer, and The Return of the Prodigal Son.
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...
Reviews - What do customers think about Reaching Out (Special)?
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Reached Me Quickly Mar 11, 2010
This book mad it to me within a week of ordering. Since I bought I used book, I hoped it would be in good condition, but prepared myself for it to be in poor shape. I received the book in excellent condition for what I paid for it. Had a library feel to it, which I like. Well worth the 86 cents I paid for the book.
Wonderful Book Oct 16, 2009
I received my book for my previous class, in came in a very timely manner and was in great condition.
I just don't resonate with Nouwen... Jul 12, 2009
In light of almost unanimous praise for this book among other reviewers, I hate to be "that guy." I'm taking a seminary course on Nouwen, so this was the first of five of his books that we were assigned. And I really wanted to like it. But I'm not sure that I've ever fallen asleep so frequently while reading a book as I did with this one. I just didn't connect with it at all.
His main thesis is that the Christian life consists of movement along three trajectories, from loneliness to solitude, from hostility to hospitality, and from illusion to prayer (connected to our relationships with ourselves, other people, and God, respectively). My problem with the book is that my experience don't even remotely align with what Nouwen describes and seemingly assumes as normative. Quite frankly, I have felt a lot of deficiency in my life, but I don't think that I have ever felt lonely (and I don't just think that's merely an indication of a lack of serious personal reflection and honest self-appraisal). But without that shared experience, the first movement is meaningless to me.
The second movement, from hostility to hospitality, was the one that resonated most with me, as I understand my natural inclination towards hostility (though more covert than overt) and see God's different intention for my interaction with others. But the final movement was where he totally lost me. The sort of spiritual reality that he describes as prayer is so far removed from my own experience and so unappealing to me that it didn't connect with me at all.
It's worth noting that I found one particular point to be extremely powerful. In the middle of Chapter 8, I love Nouwen's words about the need to learn from church history and from the saints throughout the ages. "The really great saints of history don't ask for imitation. Their way was unique and cannot be repeated. But they invite us into their lives and offer a hospitable space for our own search..." This is great stuff.
Yet, overall, I can say that reading this book was a strangely unnerving experience for me. Having heard rave reviews about Nouwen and his work from seemingly countless people whom I respect, I want to love his books. It's not that I found "Reaching Out" to be utterly disagreeable but rather, that it is just totally unintelligible to me. I just don't know what he's talking about, from an experiential standpoint. It's as if his experiences are completely foreign and his perspectives are totally unknown to me. On one level, I'm disappointed in my inability to gain more from the book, and on another level, I'm wondering if I need to just acknowledge that Nouwen simply isn't a writer who connects with me, and that might not be a reflection on him or on me but simply an observation of reality.
In light of the other positive reviews, I won't be so arrogant as to suggest that "Reaching Out" is somehow a lousy book. I will instead suggest that it's not for everyone, and it certainly wasn't very helpful for me.
Awesome Book Jul 11, 2009
This book is fantastic! Clearly written with very perceptive observations that are not critical. Take your time with the book to appreciate the richness of the ideas and come back to it often as the journey is never complete.