Item 1558 - Loneliness contagious

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Reference code

CA ON00389 F4-9-1-1558

Title

Loneliness contagious

Date(s)

  • [May 31, 1974] (Creation)

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1 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is a half-page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: Loneliness Contagious, published in the National Catholic Reporter, May 31, 1974. In this article Nouwen speaks of loneliness as a pervasive experience in modern life. He speaks first of his own loneliness and then states “ Loneliness is one of the most universal human experiences but our contemporary western society has heightened the awareness of our loneliness to an unusual degree”. He describes the loneliness people feel in crowded subways or at parties even though the images or words of welcome seem to imply warmth and closeness. “The language with which we are surrounded suggests anything but loneliness… it is a language which reveals the desire to be close and receptive to the stranger, but which in our society sadly fails to heal the pains of our loneliness, because the real pain is felt where we can hardly allow anyone to enter”. Nouwen concludes “The roots of loneliness are very deep and cannot be touched by optimistic advertisement, substitute love images or social togetherness”.

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Published in National Catholic Reporter, ca. 31 May 1974.
"5/31/74" written on the article.
There is a head shot photo of Nouwen, taken by Ron van den Bosch. See P6433 on Page 11 of Album 3 for a full-size version of the photo.
This article is published in a revised form as Chapter 1, A Suffocating Loneliness in Nouwen, Henri, Reaching Out: The Three Movements of the Spiritual Life, Image Books, Doubleday, New York, 1975

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Accession Number

2000 02

Location

Box 294

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