Genius Born of Anguish, Part 2

Henri Nouwen. Photo courtesy of Frank Hamilton.

Henri Nouwen. Photo courtesy of Frank Hamilton.


"Thegreatest trap in our life is not success, popularity or power, but self-rejection," said Henri Nouwen, Catholic priest, teacher and gay celibate. He has been called a psychologist of the soul.  Born in Holland in 1932, Nouwen wrote thirty-nine books about spirituality. He was interested in the relationship between religion and psychology and studied at the Menninger Clinic, one of the world's leading psychiatric hospitals. He taught at Notre Dame, Yale and Harvard. Concerned about people whom society had rejected, Nouwen spent the last ten years of his life working with people with intellectual disabilities at the Daybreak L'Arche community north of Toronto. A profile by Michael Higgins based on Nouwen's writings, interviews with those who knew him, and archival recordings of Nouwen himself. Part 3 airs Monday, July 29.

Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen
by Michael Higgins and Kevin Burns is published by Novalis.

Genius Born of Anguish Part 1 - broadcast Monday, July 15.

Participants in the Episode 2 (in order of appearance)

Robert Ellsberg
: author and editor who published many of Henri Nouwen's best-selling books; Henri's friend.

Gustavo Gutierrez: Peruvian theologian and the foremost exponent of Liberation Theology (archive tape).

Robert Jonas: psychologist at Harvard University and protégé of Henri Nouwen.

Ron Rolheiser: Catholic theologian and disciple of Henri Nouwen; has been described as "America's best-selling Catholic author."

Laurent Nouwen: Henri's younger brother.

Jean Vanier:  internationally known writer and co-founder of L'Arche.

Henri Nouwen: archive tape.

Carolyn Whitney-Brown: a Renaissance scholar who worked at L'Arche Daybreak in Toronto as an assistant in the early 1990s, along with her husband, Geoffrey.

Related Websites

The Henri Nouwen Society
This is the "official home" of all things Nouwen. It contains good biographical details and links.

The Henri Nouwen Archive at the John M. Kelly Library, University of Toronto
This is the place to start for anyone wanting to know more about Nouwen's life and works.

This is a detailed "finding guide", which explains what is in the collection:

Henri Nouwen clips
Perhaps the most typical "performance" by Henri was the three-part presentation he gave at the Crystal Cathedral in California in 1992 and there are several ways to access this on YouTube:

Henri Nouwen Being the Beloved Sermon 1 of 8

Henri Nouwen Being the Beloved Sermon

Hour of Power - Netherlands

Henri Nouwen "channel"
There is a Henri Nouwen "channel" on YouTube, based in Canada. It features seven clips, including material broadcast on Salt and Light Television:

Henri Nouwen and L'Arche Daybreak

Jean Vanier's official home page

Spirituality and mental health
This is a helpful website operated by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in the UK. It contains good resources and links.

The Association for Spirituality and Mental Health in Canada

Music Featured in Part 2

A note from the producers about the music used in the series:

What we have called The Henri Nouwen Theme in working on the programs, is heard at the opening and closing of all three episodes. Here is the reference:

Composition: Andante from the Quintet for Piano and Strings in A Minor, Opus 100
Composer: Julius Röntgen
Disc: Right Through the Bone
Track: 2
Artist/s: ARC - Artists of the Royal Conservatory - David Louis, Erika Raum, Marie Bérard, Steven Dann, Brian Epperson. All Canadian.
Label: RCA Red Seal (2007) 88697-15837-2

Here is a list of the other music used in episode 2.

Composition: Deus, in adiutorium meum intende
Composer: NB this track is anonymous, despite the title of the recording
Disc: Handel - Caldara: Carmelite Vespers
Track: 1
Artist/s: Academia Montis Regalis, conductor: Claudio Chiavazza
Label: Deutsche Harmonia Mundi (2012) 8869-1926042

Composition: Lua Descolorida, one of Three Songs 
Composer: Osualdo Golijov
Disc: Oceana
Track: 11
Artist/s: Dawn Upshaw, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Spano
Label: Deutsche Grammophon (2007) 477-6426

Composition:  Kyrie from the Misa Criolla
Composer: Ariel Ramirez
Disc: Misa Criolla
Track: 1
Artist/s: Jose Carreras and the Coral Salve de Laredao and the Sociedad Coral de Bilbao, conducted by José Luis Ocejo
Label: Philips (1988) 420 955 2

Composition: La Gaviota
Composer: Silvio Rodriguez
Disc: Unicornio
Track: 2
Artist/s: Silvio Rodriguez and Orquestra Egrem
Label: Alfiz (1995) 7 2435-29381-2-4

Composition: Media Vita
Composer: John Sheppard
Disc: Media Vita and Other Liturgical Works
Track: 4
Artist/s: Stile Antico
Label: Harmonia Mundi USA (2010) HMU 807509

Composition: Psalm
Composer: Frode Haltli
Disc: Passing Images
Track: 1
Artist/s: Frode Haltli, Arve Henriksen, and Garth Knox
Label: ECM (2007) 1913 - 985 6022

Composition: Undan hulu (Trans: pelicans upstream)
Composer: Òlafur Arnalds
Disc:  and they have escaped the weight of darkness
Track: 8
Artist/s: Òlafur Arnalds, Margret Soffia Einarsdottir, Hallgrimur Jonas Jensson, Arndis Hulda Auðunsdottir, Þordur Guðmundur Hermannsson, Kjartan Bragason.
Label: Erased Tapes (2010) ERAT P022

Composition: Poland
Composer: Òlafur Arnalds
Disc: Another Happy Day (original sound track)
Track: 8
Artist/s: Òlafur Arnalds, Josquin Pall Palomares, Roland Hartwell, Kristin Mariella, Hallgrimur Jonas Jensson
Label:  Erased Tapes (2011) ERATP 038

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