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Wounded Healer [Paperback]

Henri Nouwen
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

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Book Description

28 April 2014
The Wounded Healer is a hope-filled and profoundly simple book that speaks directly to those men and women who want to be of service in their church or community, but have found the traditional ways often threatening and ineffective. In this book, Henri Nouwen combines creative case studies of ministry with stories from diverse cultures and religious traditions in preparing a new model for ministry. Weaving keen cultural analysis with his psychological and religious insights, Nouwen has come up with a balanced and creative theology of service that begins with the realization of fundamental woundedness in human nature. Emphasizing that which is in humanity common to both minister and believer, this woundedness can serve as a source of strength and healing when counseling others. Nouwen proceeds to develop his approach to ministry with an analysis of sufferings -- a suffering world, a suffering generation, a suffering person, and a suffering minister. It is his contention that ministers are called to recognize the sufferings of their time in their own hearts and make that recognition the starting point of their service. For Nouwen, ministers must be willing to go beyond their professional role and leave themselves open as fellow human beings with the same wounds and suffering -- in the image of Christ. In other words, we heal from our own wounds. Filled with examples from everyday experience, The Wounded Healer is a thoughtful and insightful guide that will be welcomed by anyone engaged in the service of others.


Product details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Darton,Longman & Todd (28 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0232530777
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232530773
  • Product Dimensions: 21 x 15 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,005,009 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

About the Author

Henri Nouwen was a Dutch Roman Catholic priest who left a highly acclaimed academic career to share his life with people with mental disabilities as pastor of l'Arche Daybreak Community, Toronto, Canada. He died in 1996.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars thoughtful writing on a difficult topic 6 Jun 2009
By Joanne
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was introduced to Henri Nouwen's writing with "Finding My Way Home" which was compiled after his death from writing and talks he had given. His books are short with great insight and a gentleness of writing. I was awestruck by "Finding My Way Home" which I suppose set a high bar for "The Wounded Healer" to meet.

So if I am honest I was disappointed by the first half of the book possibly because it was written around the year of my birth so references to recent studies (from 1969) on the character of young people as fatherless, convulsive and inward were a little hard to relate to. Although some of these characteristics probably continue - particularly fatherlessness I struggled to connect to Nouwen's thoughts.

However the third and fourth chapters utterly grabbed me and I will need to reread them to absorb more of the treasures that they hold. The overall theme is recognising we can only reach out to wounded people if we too recognise our own woundedness. He is speaking of spiritual and emotional healing rather than of physical healing. His take on loneliness caused a significant shift in my thinking.

"We live in a society in which loneliness has become one of the most painful human wounds.
But the more I think about loneliness, the more I think that the wound of loneliness is like the Grand Canyon - a deep incision in the surface of our existence which has become an inexhaustible source of beauty and self-understanding.
Therefore I would like to voice loudly and clearly what might seem unpopular and maybe even disturbing: The Christian life does not take away our loneliness; it protects and cherishes it as a precious gift...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please be warned! 11 May 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Please be warned, this an item that seems to be cynically miss-sold as an "Audio-Book". I am trying to read the book when health permits. I purchased the audio-book after a recommendation from my Pastor - However this is : "An Unabridged segment" of the wonderful book, or "Sample" as it is described on the cover - I was astonished to find this level of 'Sharp-Practice' being, apparently, 'Endorsed' by Amazon. Hopefully this product will not be 'Miss-Sold' in future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic 12 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A classic account of what it means to engage genuinely with other people - in any sort of ministry or, for that matter, health or social care settings. The message of Chapter III is mind-numbingly important and should not be lost on those struggling to articulate what compassion means in today's world.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Wounded Healer 23 Jun 2012
By Mary
Format:Paperback
Although written in the 70s for members of the US ministry, this book is as relevant today as it was then. It's quite intellectual, and I found its style intimidating at times.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and thought provoking reading 24 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback
The Wounded Healer: Ministry in Contemporary Society - This is an interesting and thought provoking book. I found it needed to be read in short bursts in order to take in all the valuable concepts that it raises.
Like most of Neuwen's books you grow to love them.
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