Thursday, August 6, 2009

Turning the Wheel: Henri Nouwen and Our Search for God

Edited by Jonathan Bengtson and Gabrielle Earnshaw, 231 pages.

Yet another Nouwen book, but this one comes from a conference on his writing and legacy 10 years after his death. Contributers are from the academic but also pastoral and community leaders. These writers are people who knew Nouwen personally. The book is part scholarly, part personal, part biographical.

Turning the Wheel deals with many of the personal issues Nouwen with which Nouwen had to deal, including extreme loneliness, the coldness of academic life (he was professor of psychology at Notre Dame, Harvard, and Yale), and his sexuality.

As with many books with academic leanings, it includes strange combinations that can stretch the reader's understanding, including a chapter on “Nouwen, Emerson, and the Emerging of the American Dream.”

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