Item 1666 - Intimacy, fecundity and ecstasy

Identity area

Reference code

CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1666

Title

Intimacy, fecundity and ecstasy

Date(s)

  • May - June 1984 (Creation)

Level of description

Item

Extent and medium

7 p. of textual records

Context area

Name of creator

(1932-1996)

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This item is a 7 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled, ‘Intimacy, Fecundity and Ecstasy’ published in Radix, May/June 1984, N 8 – 23, pp. 8 – 12, 22-23. Nouwen begins with a quotation from John’s Gospel, Chapter 15, and introduces a connection with this gospel passage and the work of Jean Vanier, the founder of L’Arche. ‘Out of that experience of living with severely handicapped people, Jean Vanier came to a conclusion, a kind of vision, that all human beings have three rights, or three privileges. They are the right and privilege of intimacy, the right and privilege of fecundity, and the right and privilege of ecstasy’. Nouwen then goes on to discuss each of these three ‘rights’. He begins by noting how difficult intimacy is for modern people; that people are unhappy and often at the mercy of their needs and the wounds of generations. Nouwen then asks, ‘Is there another way of living?’ and suggests that when Jesus says ‘make your home in me’, the answer is to be found there. With regard to fecundity, Nouwen begins by distinguishing between fruitfulness and productivity. He goes on to describe our society’s need to measure and control and duplicate, which he sees as productivity. Fruitfulness, Nouwen describes as a gift of vulnerability. ‘Probably the most important quality of fruit is that we have to leave it alone in order for it to grow’. In the final section on ecstasy Nouwen speaks of joy, the joy given by Jesus. Nouwen suggests that so many people live at a level of busyness, boredom and a sense of meaninglessness. He suggests that to be ecstatic is to move out of a state of being static; being willing to change and grow; to choose life. Nouwen concludes by saying,’ Wherever we live, we can live celebrating ecstatically, always having a party. There’s something new, a smile, because God is with us and we want to live’.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling

Accruals

System of arrangement

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

Script of material

Language and script notes

Physical characteristics and technical requirements

Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

Existence and location of copies

Related units of description

Related descriptions

Notes area

Note

Published in Radix (May - June 1984): 8-12, 22-23.
The article was originally given as a talk to the Golden Gate Community in San Francisco.
The themes of this article form the substance of the book: Nouwen, Henri, 'Lifesigns: Intimacy, Fecundity and Ecstasy in Chrisitan Perspective', Image Books, Doubleday, N.Y.,1986.

Alternative identifier(s)

Accession Number

2000 02

Location

Box 296

Access points

Subject access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Description identifier

Institution identifier

Rules and/or conventions used

Language(s)

Script(s)

Sources

Accession area

Clipboard

Explore

Related subjects

Related people and organizations

Related genres

Related places