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The Return of the Prodigal Son


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About the Author

Henri J.M. Nouwen was born in the Netherlands, where he was ordained to the priesthood. He has taught at the University of Notre Dame, Yale Divinity School, and Harvard Divinity School. His works include Creative Ministry, The Wounded Healer, Reaching Out, In the Name of Jesus, and Beyond The Mirror. In 1986 he became the pastor of the L'Arche Daybreak community in Toronto, Canada.


Nouwen, a pastor with L'Arche Daybreak Community in Toronto, finds meditation through Rembrandt's portrayal of the gospel parable of the ``Prodigal Son.'' This book reflects his thoughts and healing processes as he progresses through the stages of younger son, elder son, and father. The interpretation of the three male characters and use of Nouwen's experiences provides a vivid picture of the stages of life. The emphasis is on the male experience, and the meditation focuses on resolving the search for love and connectedness by explaining the stages of rebellion (younger brother), resentfulness (elder brother), and forgiveness (father). As time passes, Nouwen believes, most people will recognize these stages in their own lives and understand how they take on the characteristics of their parents.-- L. Kriz, Sioux City P.L., Ia.

"The Return of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us."--New Oxford Review

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