File 2108 - Handouts for spring 1976 lecture course

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Reference code

CA ON00389 F4-7-1-2108


Handouts for spring 1976 lecture course


  • [between June 1975 and April 1976] (Creation)

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1.4 cm of textual records

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File consists of a bound volume of typed and photocopied handouts, including a course syllabus, class list and typed handouts by Nouwen about compassion, namely "Compassion with God", "Compassion and Solidarity", "Compassion and the Media", "Compassion and Displacement", "Compassion and our Limitations", "Compassion and Social Criticism", "Compassion and the New Mind", and "Compassion and Dread". The handouts also include two Merton bibliographies, two lists of monastic communities, and a class list of final paper proposals. Other articles included in this volume are:
-prefaces to the Japanese edition of Merton's "Seven Story Mountain" and "Thoughts in Solitude"
-prayer and excerpts from a letter by Merton titled "On Contemplation"
-short articles from Time (June 29, 1974 and November 18, 1974) titled "Pastor of the Poor" and "Torture, Brazilian Style"
-David Steindl-Rast's Curriculum Vitae, "Reflections of Thomas Merton's Last Days in the West" and "A Deep Bow"
-excerpts from the work of Dietrich Bonhoeffer,
-and, a short manual by Thich Nhat Hanh titled "The Miracle of Being Awake".

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It appears that the typed reflections on compassion would contribute to his later collaboration with Donald McNeill and Douglas Morrison on the book titled Compassion, that was written in 1978 and published in 1982. See Manuscripts series, box 6, files 24-1, 24-2, 24-3, 24-4, 24-5.
Nouwen's handouts on Compassion in this course appear to be precursors to works he would later publish, namely:"Does the news destroy compassion?" published in The Sign (September 1976): 25-27. See Published works series, box 294, item 1589.
"Compassion: bringing us together" published in The Sign (October 1976): 38. See Published works series box 294, item 1591.

Notes area


Title based on contents of the file.
The bound volume includes a table of contents listing 29 handouts. Most of the handouts are numbered in the upper right hand corner, i.e. "H4", "H24".


The Life and Work of Thomas Merton (course code REL 315b) was a large lecture course offered during the spring semester of 1976. It was an expansion of Nouwen's smaller seminar on Thomas Merton offered in 1975. The course was held on Wednesdays, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm and was open to students from Fordham University (New York City), in addition to Yale students. His assistant in this course was John S. Mogabgab, although it is not clear if Mogabgab was also co-lecturing classes. Three guest lecturers were scheduled: Naomi Burton Stone, Fred Morris and Brother David Steindl-Rast. Nouwen insisted that all students had to participate in the class and that no auditing was allowed. Students were required to submit short reflections on the autobiographical works of Merton as well as write an extensive final paper. In addition to lectures, students also participated in discussion groups that were occasionally attended by Mogabgab and Nouwen.

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Accession Number

2000 01


Box 269

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