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Essential Writings Paperback – 20 Oct 2008

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Paperback, 20 Oct 2008
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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Darton,Longman & Todd Ltd; 1st Edition edition (20 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0232527539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0232527537
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.4 x 21 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 909,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


`At first you might not notice it, but gradually you will come to realize that Jean Vanier brings you in touch with a place inside yourself that few people have reached.' --Henri J. M. Nouwen (1985)


`For those of us who read his books or attend his lectures, Jean Vanier is a spiritual friend on the journey of life. His word, perfectly coherent with his life, inspires us to follow and, like him, to become more truly human.'

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A masterpiece of Spiritual reflection. He relates the Gospels to the marginalized, brilliantly and is prepared to reveal his own weakness in this account.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x8957c6b4) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88709ac4) out of 5 stars "I moved from the world of theories and ideas about human beings to discover what it really meant to be human..." 10 Sept. 2008
By Kerry Walters - Published on
Format: Paperback
So says L'Arche founder Jean Vanier about his own spiritual journey (p. 29). son of one of Canada's first families, military man, and Ph.Ded philosopher, Vanier was accustomed to taking charge of his fellow humans when he was in proximity to them, and abstractly dissecting them when he was thinking about them. But his encounter with mentally and physically broken humans in the late 1950s, coupled with a growing spiritual restlessness, led him to a dramatic and dynamic life change. Ever since, Vanier has lived and written about the path of "downward mobility." In doing so, he (like Henri Nouwen) invites the rest of us to rethink our understanding of both our own life goals and God. He invites us to see vulnerability as a blessing rather than a liability, and to recognize that one of our greatest strengths, and one of God's greatest strengths, is precisely the weakness to allow ourselves to be touched by others.

Carolyn Whitney-Brown, who herself worked at a L'Arche community for the better part of a decade and knows Vanier personally, has put together an excellent collection of Vanier's essential writings and prefaced it with an informative Introduction. The writings focus on transforming the world, transforming the local community, transforming the self, and exploring the Christian life. They're written with a simplicity that can be deceptive. It's all too easy to dismiss Vanier as a simplistic thinker (another similarity with Nouwen). But in fact Vanier's writing tends to presuppose sophisticated arguments without belaboring them. His style is to write prose that invites meditation, rather than arguments that compel assent.

An excellent addition to the Modern Spiritual Masters series.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88709b18) out of 5 stars Jean Vanier Essential reviews 29 Dec. 2008
By Mary Schuster - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is an outstanding book.
It really captures many of Jean's best works.
Am enjoying his very inspiring works.
Would suggest this book to anyone who
desires to capture the real gift of
Jean Vanier
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88709f50) out of 5 stars An important read 8 Oct. 2012
By Johnny Quest - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Jean Vanier: Essential Writings," Selected with an Introduction by Carolyn Whitney-Brown is a wonderful read. I never realized that Vanier had written so much, but this 176 paged tome condenses his thoughts from various works into one concise paperback that is worth the read. Being a peace activist I wasn't sure if I would appreciate the works of a guy who served in the British Navy, but I found a similar fellow who has worked with individuals who are intellectually challenged as I have done for 31 years, only he has done it longer and better than I have. I found this book to be a valuable source of material to ponder and revisit. I hope more folks discover the wisdom this Jean Vanier has to offer. Peace.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x88709f38) out of 5 stars Jean Vanier: Essential Writings (Modern Spiritual Master) 2 Nov. 2013
By hildie - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very inspiring and spiritually uplifting. This highly educated man left a life of materialistic success to live a life with the poorest and most rejected men. In their dependence on him, he searched his own soul and recognized his own inner demons as well as a depth of love for these poor neglected and abused creatures that could only come from his dependence on God. He saw the face of Jesus In everyone of these men. His letters and speeches confront the materialistic and complacent way of life of our society, both in religious and political circles. A very thought-provoking book and soul-searching book
HASH(0x8870a304) out of 5 stars a prophetic voice 10 Feb. 2014
By Arthur Powers - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jean Vanier has made his life among the mentally and physically challenged. Nobody is better - or less sentimental - than Vanier in conveying the truth that the disabled are a wonderful gift from God, that each and everyone of us is a valued, loved, unique child of God.
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