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Den fortabte søn vender hjem (1991)

af Henri J. M. Nouwen

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3,318353,777 (4.21)23
Om hvordan mødet med Rembrandts maleri "Den fortabte søns hjemkomst" førte til en lang åndelig rejse ud af ensomhed, vrede og misundelse og ind i troens univers.

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A book best used as a starting point for the meditations it inspires - what it means to be the younger son, the elder son, and the father...and what those identities mean in our own lives.

Highly recommended to all Christians, but especially to those in ministry and leadership. ( )
  alrajul | Jun 1, 2023 |
Nouwen is a Dutchman, like Rembrandt, and this book is a sort of homecoming for Nouwen to reexamine his own moorings as a Catholic and member of his nuclear family. As Nouwen reflects on his own life, Nouwen uses Rembrandt’s minor painting, “Return of the Prodigal Son” to illustrate his own return to his religious vocation. Rembrandts are found in many Los Angeles museums, thankfully, including a self-portrait at The Norton Simon, in Pasadena. This book is probably Nouwen’s most influential book with The Wounded Healer being the runner up. I have heard many speakers and priests use material from this book (without attribution) numerous times over the years. It has become background music in all adult retreat talks.
I’m happy to have finally read it myself. It’s a sensitive book with a mastery of emotionally touching vocabulary, ahead of its time, actually. It is not perfection itself in this regard but worth reading if you have the patience for this type of subject matter. Everyone’s reading material preference is unique and should be respected.
Nouwen describes his own failing at the core as his own resentment which he identifies with the elder son in his exegesis of the famous Luke Gospel parable. That might be true in his case but might not be the same reality for others? Nouwen assumes this is a universal truth when it might be a personal bias. Nouwen speaks about letting go of own his resentment to return to the Father’s loving embrace as suggestive in the Gospel parable. But is that the only interpretation of Jesus' parable? Is resentment the greatest sin that must be abandoned? Who knows? Nouwen assumes that to be the case. Later he says, clarifying, that the call to conversion is a spiritual struggle “against self-rejection, self-contempt, and self-loathing” (i.e., the world and demons). The simplest way to end resentment is gratitude, he says. This has now become a cliché but in 1992 this became the answer for all retreat directors for years to come. Gratitude, in the sense of using Jesus as a model for self-giving behavior.
Nouwen who taught a Harvard and Yale prior to writing this book, which are still to this day hotbeds of Marxist thought and indoctrination, sees the clash of characters in the older son against the younger son as a spiritually necessary war in the viewer of Rembrandt’s painting. Marx calls this class warfare, and Nouwen seems to say this happens in the proper understanding of Jesus' parable. Nouwen explains that the narrative’s resulting movement is the loving and gentle father presented in the parable's finale. This deconstruction of art in interpretation is now commonplace in art books and walking tours among museum docents. Two other points to note. Nouwen worked at an affiliate of L’Arche founded by Jean Vanier. Vanier, not Nouwen, has since become personally discredited for abuse claims coming from within his own organization. Prior to writing this book, Nouwen says he had just finished a US lecture tour to prevent violence in South America. I’m not exactly sure what he was doing but, at the time, people were advocating for the closure of the School of the Americas (SOA) run out of Fort Benning, GA. This is a major military installation. This was a military training facility used to introduce military tactics to other-than-American Non Commissioned Officers and officers. It was alleged that foreign governments were using trained grads from SOA to operate death squads to protect their dictatorships back home in their own countries. The official name of the school SOA has since been changed ( to Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation: WHINSEC) with more oversight added but it still exists as it is in the US interest to have various liaisons with Central and South American governments. Nouwen being imbued with naïve socialist Ivy League ideas thought that the SOA was the cause of these alleged atrocities. Actually, it was CIA operatives, not military staff at the SOA, inserted in the countries themselves advising these governments directly with or without the knowledge of the Presidency or Congress. The Church Committee looked at CIA involvement during Vietnam era violence and surveillance of Americans in America. This book shows that art appreciation (a subcategory of Art History) is creative and healing at the most profound level of a person’s soul. Art appreciation is one of the most powerful things I have found in this world and I was happy to see Nouwen has found the same truth to be his as well.
Color cover photo from The Hermitage St Petersburg, B&W photos, no bibliography.
  sacredheart25 | Apr 3, 2023 |
Meditações perante um quadro de Rembrandt.
A partir do quadro de Rembrandt, O Regresso do Filho Pródigo, o Autor procede a uma profunda análise da parábola evangélica que lhe está na origem e, ao mesmo tempo, do seu trajecto como cristão. Trata-se de uma descoberta progressiva, do quadro, da parábola e de si próprio: de filho pródigo, afastado do Pai, a filho mais velho, junto do Pai mas longe dele, até descobrir a verdadeira vocação - ser como o Pai, capaz de acolher, perdoar e alegrar-se com o regresso de todos os seus filhos.
  Jonatas.Bakas | May 8, 2021 |
> LE RETOUR DE L’ENFANT PRODIGUE, de Henri J.M. Nouwen (Albin Michel, 2008). — « La rencontre fortuite d’un détail du Retour du fils prodigue, de Rembrandt, a déclenché chez moi une quête spirituelle qui devait m’amener à redécouvrir ma vocation et me donner des forces neuves pour la vivre. Au coeur de cette aventure, un tableau du XVIIe siècle, une parabole remontant au Ier siècle et son illustre auteur, et enfin un homme du XXe siècle à la recherche du sens de sa vie. » (Espaces libres)

> Babelio : https://www.babelio.com/livres/Nouwen-Le-retour-de-lenfant-prodigue/392899
  Joop-le-philosophe | Apr 21, 2021 |
  Murtra | Nov 28, 2020 |
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Om hvordan mødet med Rembrandts maleri "Den fortabte søns hjemkomst" førte til en lang åndelig rejse ud af ensomhed, vrede og misundelse og ind i troens univers.

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