Henri Nouwen and The Return of the Prodigal Son: The Making of a Spiritual Classic

Paraclete. May 2020. 176p. ISBN 9781640601697. pap. $16.99. REL
Henri Nouwen (1932-96) was a renowned Catholic priest and theologian who was also a prolific and influential author. In this work, Earnshaw (founding archivist, Henri J.M. Nouwen Archives and Research Collection at University of St. Michael’s College; editor, Love, Henri: Letters on the Spiritual Life) looks at both Nouwen’s impetus for writing his most popular book, The Return of the Prodigal Son, as well as it’s ongoing legacy. Influenced by Rembrandt’s masterpiece The Return of the Prodigal Son, Nouwen was struck by the deep meanings of the painting, and how it resonated with his own spiritual journey and his relationship with God. With this expertise, Earnshaw shows how the readership of The Return of the Prodigal Son has steadily grown over the years; the book has sold more than one million copies worldwide. Earnshaw examines why the book’s themes continue to resonate in a secular age; she argues that this speaks to our continued search for divinity.
VERDICT This exhaustive examination will appeal to readers who are fond of Nouwen’s life and writings, or those hoping to learn more..Eiland, Ashlee.
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