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Arrivals & Departures: The Restless World of Henri Nouwen

Author: Michael Ford (Editor)
Published By: Darton, Longman and Todd (London)
Pages: 128
Price: £9.95
ISBN: 0 232 52710 5

Reviewed by Luke Penkett.

Michael Ford is a journalist and theologian who met Henri Nouwen through interviewing him for BBC TV. He has specialised in the life and spirituality of this restless character, already having published three books. This one forms a sequel to the anthology, The Dance of Life: Spiritual Direction with Henri Nouwen.

Here, Ford traces Nouwen’s steps, as it were, through Russia, Europe, and North, Central and Latin America, bringing to light some lesser known episodes from his subject’s life.

It is possible to read this book from cover to cover, but, like the people Nouwen meets and the situations he experiences, this might well become tiring and frustrating at times (the passages Ford chooses from about a quarter of Nouwen’s books are only 300-900 words long).

It is, I think, more profitable to dip into this collection and to allow the writing of Nouwen, so inclusive and vulnerable, to put us more in touch with our own spirituality as we reflect on the people and places he encounters. An index might be of help to the reader who likes to plan whom he ‘meets’, but I think this might well spoil the fun.

Luke Penkett

Monk and Priest working with L'Arche Community

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You are reading Issue 42 of Ministry Today, published in March 2008.

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