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Adam: God's Beloved Hardcover – September 8, 1997


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Orbis Books; 1St Edition edition (September 8, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1570751331
  • ISBN-13: 978-1570751332
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.7 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #623,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Henri Nouwen completed Adam: God's Beloved just weeks before his death in 1996. It is a personal memoir about his friendship with Adam, a severely handicapped man he knew at the L'Arche Daybreak Community in Canada. Although Adam could not speak and was wracked with violent seizures, Nouwen called Adam "my friend, my teacher, and my guide," and credited Adam with renewing his faith in a particularly dark period of life. Thanks to Adam, Nouwen came to understand the central questions of Christian theology in a way that transcended all statements of belief, and instead found joy in the mere gift of human existence. --Michael Joseph Gross

About the Author

HENRI J.M. NOUWEN is one of the most prolific and popular spiritual writers of our time. He wrote more than 40 books and taught at Notre Dame, as well as at Yale and Harvard. For the 10 years before his death in 1996, he was part of the L’Arche Daybreak community in Toronto, sharing life with people with developmental disabilities. For more information about Nouwen, visit www.HenriNouwen.org.
--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

This is the second time I have read this book, the first time was soon after it was initially published.
Les
Nouwen sheds light on the God-given dignity in Adam's life and in so doing helps the reader understand God's great love for all of us.
Tim
I recommend this book highly and without hesitation, not only to fans of Henri Nouwen, but to anyone who has a heart.
Thomas E. Defreitas

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This author really knows about God's love. Get it It is time to feel God's warmth again. I would also recommend the book An Encounter with a Prophet
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By eholmes@freent.com on March 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
For all of us who have ever wondered about the value of a life--what gives value to a life, what is a life worth living, what guidelines does our culture, our society, our nation put on life?-- Henri Nouwen, through his own search for the answer to those questions, provides the answer by laying down his success at Harvard, Yale and Notre Dame and caring for a man named Adam who can do nothing for himself. The story of the professor/priest who comes to look to Adam as his professor, his teacher, is what God's love can do when we mere humans listen to His voice. Of what infinite value we are to God, each and every one of us. Thank you, Henri Nouwen and all the people at L'Arche. It is a wonderful life-affirming book in the midst of a time when life is not affirmed much.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Bethany McKinney Fox on August 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a good story. Maybe if I hadn't read so many of Henri's other books, where he recounts some of the same experiences as in this book, I would have been more moved. It was helpful and touching to read about this relationship Henri had which had such a profound influence on him, and in which his theology culminated. He had been realizing for several years that we are all called the Beloved independent of what we do, have, or how we look--but this was most pronounced for him through his relationship with Adam.
So it is worthwhile getting a fuller picture of how Adam taught Henri so many important things about God and himself, but if you have already read many of Nouwen's books (written after he went to L'Arche), much will be repetitive. But evenso, the story and concrete examples of Henri living out his theology are really beautiful. And as someone who works closely with and sees God in people with developmental disabilities, it is wonderful for me to see how Henri saw God in Adam. One of the other reviewers accuses Henri of romanticizing relationships with people with disabilities, but I do not find this to be the case. It was clear that Henri was writing a book about how he encountered Jesus in Adam, and of course focused on incidents that would show that. I did not find the book lacking just because it mainly talked about the peaceful and beautiful moments, because the purpose of the book is to show us how God is in every person, and in a special way in people with disabilities; and it comes across loud and clear. I recommend this short book, though it is definitely not my favorite by Nouwen; it could easily be read in one afternoon.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 19, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Henri Nouwen teaches from his personal experience. The lessons in this book go beyond head learning. Instead, the book explains how a broken, severely disabled young man can be an inspirational teacher to a Havard professor and theologian and to you and me. The book is written in easy conversational language and carries a very powerful, potentially life altering message about the Love of God made manifest through the broken body of the young man named Adam. A must read.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Timothy Kearney VINE VOICE on October 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
ADAM: GOD'S BELOVED may not be Henri Nouwen as a writer at his best, but in many ways it is Henri Nouwen as a priest and a person at his best. I know that this sounds like a contradiction, but a reading of the introduction of the book by Sue Mosteller explains some of the difficulties of this book. First, it was a bit of a rush job and the version we have today may not have been the final version had Nouwen not died prior to its publication. Even his last editor Robert Ellsberg in an article called "Editing Henri" (part of a collection of articles in a book titled REMEMBERING HENRI, a volume celebrating the life and work of Henri Nouwen) wasn't sure what Nouwen wanted to accomplish in this book until he read the final version and thought about what it said about Henri Nouwen as a person. Ellsberg's approach may be the best way to approach ADAM.

ADAM tells the story of Adam Arnett, a severely disabled young man Nouwen met while living at Daybreak, a L'Arche community comprised of people of differing abilities, founded by Jean Vanier. In sum, Nouwen cares for Adam's personal needs and believes he comes face to face with the suffering Christ and sees through Adam that every life is important and has a purpose. This is basically a summary of the book and there are many writers, most notably Vanier himself, who speak eloquently about the role of the disabled in society and how the disabled reflect the life of Christ. Like many readers, as some other Amazon reviews will attest, I expected more, or at least I expected more as I read the book. I admired Nouwen for venturing into a place where too many look away, but I hoped for more profound insights from this person who shared so much with so many.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By not me VINE VOICE on October 5, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I'm the father of an eight-year old boy with Down Syndrome. I cherish and value the disabled. I wanted to love this book, which tells the story of the author's relationship with a severely disabled man. But, really, honestly, it isn't that good. It was unfinished at the time of Nouwen's death and retains a half-baked, rushed quality. There is remarkably little description of Adam's everyday life: indeed, for every sentence about Adam, there must be three or four about Nouwen's interior life. At times, Nouwen sentimentalizes and "theologizes" the severely disabled, which is another way of obscuring their humanity. Nouwen meant well, the publishers meant well -- but "Adam" just ain't that great.
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More About the Author

Henri Nouwen was born in Holland in 1932 and ordained a Catholic priest in 1957. He obtained his doctorandus in psychology from Nijmegen University in The Netherlands and taught at Notre Dame, Yale, and Harvard. He experienced the monastic life with Trappist monks at the Abbey of the Genesee, lived among the poor in Latin America with the Maryknoll missioners, and was interested and active in numerous causes related to social justice. After a lifetime of seeking, Henri Nouwen finally found his home in Canada, as pastor of L'Arche Daybreak - where people with intellectual disabilities and their caregivers live together in community.

Henri Nouwen wrote over 40 books on spirituality and the spiritual life that have sold millions of copies and been translated into dozens of languages. His vision of spirituality was broad and inclusive, and his compassion embraced all of humankind.

He died in 1996. His work and his spirit live on.

Henri Nouwen pronounced his name "Henry Now-en." For more information on his life and work, please visit www.henrinouwen.org .

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