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Adam: God’s Beloved

Adam: God’s Beloved



In the year before his death in 1996, Henri Nouwen had planned to write a book about the Apostles’ Creed. But then the death of his friend Adam Arnett, a severely handicapped young man from his Daybreak Community, changed his mind. He found that by reflecting on the story of Adam he had found a way of describing his own understanding of the Gospel message, and in Adam, a book completed only weeks before his own death, he has left a fitting reflection of his essential message and legacy.

Adam could not speak, or even move without assistance. Gripped by frequent seizures, he spent his life in obscurity. And yet for Henri Nouwen he became ‘my friend, my teacher and my guide’: it was Adam who led him to a new understanding of his Christian faith and what it means to be Beloved of God.

Following the structure of the gospels, Henri Nouwen describes Adam’s ‘hidden life’ in the desert of institutionalised care, the ‘public life’ that came about when his family entrusted him to the Daybreak community, his ministry, his miracles, and finally his passion, death and ‘resurrection’. Gradually, under Adam’s instruction, Henri learned to adjust to a new, slower rhythm of life and to speak with the language of the heart.

In Adam Henri Nouwen has found a new way to tell God’s story and the story of all human creatures, broken and yet beloved, who live in a world charged and alive with the mystery of the incarnation. It becomes a poignant and precious gift.


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Additional information

Weight 0.165 kg
Dimensions 19.8 × 12.6 × 1.1 cm


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