File 2175 - Lecture notes and handouts for 1984 lecture course

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-7-1-2175


Lecture notes and handouts for 1984 lecture course


  • June 19, 1984 (Creation)

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2.6 cm of textual records

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File consists of a bound volume of handwritten, annotated, typed and photocopied lecture summaries, lecture notes and handouts. The bound volume includes a class list, small group lists, lecture schedule as well as a course syllabus.
File also contains a copy of a letter from Nouwen to his students in response to their mid-term evaluation of the course. There are typed lecture summaries for each class, many of which are annotated by Nouwen. There are also reports from Nouwen's teaching assistants outlining the general tone of the students and their responses to the course. Included in the bound volume is a 65 page bibliography on Christian spirituality compiled by Nouwen as well as a 60 page anthology of spiritual writings chosen and submitted by members of the class which Nouwen organised and which Pat McCallum, a teaching assistant, produced. As well, there are a number of typed notes by teaching assistants, notably Jeff Coppage.
Also bound were a number of article handouts. They are:

  • Jean Vanier's " A Wound Deep in Man's Heart"
  • Aelred Squire's "Asking the Fathers"
  • typed excerpt of Parker Palmer's "Lectio Divina: Another Way to Learn"
  • excerpts from Carter Heyward's "The Redemption of God- a theology of mutual relation"
  • excerpts from Albert Nolan's "Jesus before Christianity"
  • George Lakey and Patricia Parkman's "They didn't call it nonviolence but.. Three Cases of Civil Insurrection in Latin America"
  • excerpts from Staretz Silouan's "Russian Mystics"
  • William E. Reiser's "The Forgiveness of Enemies and the Triumph of Grace"
  • Robert J. Daly's "Non-Violence in the New Testament and Early Church"

This bound volume is the end result of Nouwen's 1984 course Introduction to the Spiritual Life.

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Copies of Nouwen's typed lecture summaries were distributed to his students as handouts. Unbound copies can be found in files 2150-2166, 2168-2171.
The bound volume also contains a class list for a seminar titled "Ministry & the Spiritual Life" offered during the spring semester of 1984. This is the only evidence remaining of this course. There is another copy of this class list in the administrative file of Jeff Coppage, a teaching assistant of Nouwen's (see file 2149).

Notes area


Title based on contents of the file.
The title page for the bound copy states that the materials were prepared and edited by Nouwen, Jeff Coppage, Pat McCallum, Michael O'Laughlin, Jim Smith and Peter Weiskel.
Date is based on the fact that bound volume contains a stamp from ACME Bookbinding Company dated June 19, 1984. This is likely the date the volume was created. A cash book ledger for 1984 supports this claim as it records a financial transaction with the company on July 3, 1984 for $25.00. See Financial Records series - Ledgers, Cash book 1983 -1987, file 1406.


Introduction to the Spiritual Life (course code 2543), offered during the spring semester of 1984, was the first full course Nouwen taught at Harvard Divinity School. The course was held Tuesdays and Thursdays between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. The Gospel of Luke was the basis for the course. The course was divided up into 5 sections: Waiting in Expectation, Compassion and Hiddenness, Healing and Confrontation, Death and Resurrection, and The Holy Spirit in Worldwide Mission. Each student was required to write a personal spiritual commentary on the Gospel of Luke as well as a spiritual diary that had to be read by at least three other people, one of whom had to be a member of the class. Students were also required to attend small group discussions of six to eight people, and instructed to seek out a 'spiritual friend'. No grades were given for the course. Teaching Assistants included Jeff Coppage, Pat McCallum, Michael O’Laughlin, Jim Smith, and Peter Weiskel.

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Accession Number

2000 01


Box 279

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