Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit

Kevin BurnsBook 160 pgs.
Hardback - With dust jacket

Publisher: Franciscan Media (2016)
ISBN: 9781632531384


Kevin Burns began his professional career in 1973 teaching theater arts in a British high school. After moving to Canada, he taught in the Drama Department of the University of Alberta and then turned his attention to public broadcasting as a radio producer for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. He was also an editor for Novalis in Toronto, specializing in spirituality, religion, and theology, bringing more than 200 books to print. Though focused on print, he continued to create radio documentaries for the CBC, in religion and spirituality, including the New York Festival’s Gold Award winning “Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen.” The tie-in book to that series, co-authored with Michael W. Higgins and published in 2013, received a CBA award for Spirituality. This biography is his first non-collaborative writing project.


“Kevin Burns’s book is a great contribution to understanding the life and work of Henri Nouwen, a spiritual writer whose message was so deeply rooted in his own struggles--his gifts as well as his wounds. As Henri himself would appreciate, this book is not only an account of his life, but an invitation to see how the gospel is written in our lives.”— Robert Ellsberg, author, The Saints’ Guide to Happiness

“This book is a tripartite creation: portrait, self-portrait, and homage, and it draws heavily on the author’s much-practiced and celebrated skill as a radio documentarian. The chorus of voices, the leitmotivs, the rich allusions to music, the culminating crescendo of biography mixed imaginatively with autobiography—it’s all nicely constructed. Burns rightly locates the Nouwen charisma in his capacious generosity for friendship, in his restless yearning for Love’s affirmation. This is the essential Nouwen.” —Michael W. Higgins, biographer of Thomas Merton, Henri Nouwen, and Jean Vanier; Professor of Religious Studies and Vice-President for Mission and Catholic Identity, Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, CT

“Kevin Burns’s biography of Henri Nouwen is as far-reaching and engaging as his subject. By listening to those who knew one of the greatest modern spiritual writers well, he has skillfully pieced together insights filtered through the memories of a diverse range of sources. The result is a concise, stimulating exploration of Nouwen the priest-psychologist-professor, and of the interplay between his experience, spiritual development, and hugely influential writings. Though manifestly personally touched, Burns steps back and allows Nouwen to emerge as a restless, uncertain, gifted, supremely human saint in the making, seeking an experience of love and home.” —Kathryn Spink, author of Mother Teresa: An Authorized Biography and The Miracle, the Message, the Story: Jean Vanier and L’Arche

“The life of Henri Nouwen was filled with a fascinating combination of intellectual brilliance coupled with a deep desire to dwell with simplicity. The complexities of his life and the deep tension between sadness and joy that marked his spirituality are not easy to capture or to understand. In this thoughtful and sensitive book Kevin Burns takes us on a journey that captures some of the spiritual nuances of Nouwen’s life and draws out how and why his work continues to be fruitful for the everyday spirituality of many people today. Anyone serious about seeking to understand Nouwen should read this book.” –John Swinton, Chair in Divinity and Religious Studies, University of Aberdeen; author of Raging with Compassion

Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit

Regular price

$ 19.99   Sale Price $ 10.00

$ 10.00
Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit
$ 10.00

“The spiritual life is not a life before, after, or beyond our everyday existence. No, the spiritual life can only be real when it is lived in the midst of the pains and joys of the here and now.” —Henri Nouwen

The internationally renowned priest, teacher, and author Henri Nouwen wrote more than 40 books on the spiritual life, many of which are considered classics. As we approach the 20th anniversary of Nouwen’s death, Kevin Burns’s Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit will introduce a new generation to his compassionate approach to spirituality—or remind readers of the comfort they took from his writing years ago. Burns tells Nouwen’s life story, but also captures the impact of his life and writings. Neither a naïve, sanitized hagiography making the case for beatification, nor investigative journalism intent on “taking down” a subject with the “real” story behind the life, Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit is a straightforward appreciation of Nouwen’s life and its impact on millions. This innovative new life will remind readers why they loved Nouwen’s books years ago and provide a welcome guide to his spirituality, introducing one of the most important Catholics of the second half of the 20th century to a new generation of seekers.

Stock #: B53138

Let your friends and the world know about Henri Nouwen: His Life and Spirit

Customer Reviews

Based on 1 review Write a review