Item 1689 - Saying "no" to death in all its manifestations

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Reference code

CA ON00389 1-9-1-1689

Title

Saying "no" to death in all its manifestations

Date(s)

  • October 1985 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

8 p. of textual records

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(1932-1996)

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This item is an 8 page article by Henri Nouwen entitled: ‘Saying “No” to Death in All its Manifestations’, published in the New Oxford Review, Volume LII, No. 8, October 1985, pp. 10 – 18. It is identified as Part II of a three part series. Nouwen begins by speaking of his experience of the Jewish holocaust when he was a child in Holland and of his awareness of the questions asked after, how could we let this happen? Nouwen realizes that now he is a well-educated adult and cannot claim that he does not see the horrors of the current nuclear threat or the injustices of American and other societies. He goes on to state, ‘Peacemaking is not an option any longer but a holy obligation for all people whatever their professional or family situation. Peacemaking is a way of living that involves our whole being all the time.’ Nouwen continues to write about the nuclear threat of the annihilation of the world as we know it; the way in which people who oppose it are treated unjustly; the way in which we enter into an ‘all pervasive fascination with death that is an integral part of our daily lives.’ Nouwen describes what he sees as the reality that ‘violence [is] mental before it is physical’. He writes that when we refuse to see others who are different as our brothers and sisters that is the beginning of future violence and death. He goes on to say, ‘I am moved by the idea that a peacemaker never judges anybody’ and that we become better peacemakers when we are able to forgive ourselves and others for our humanity. Nouwen then suggests, ‘Peacemaking requires clear resistance to death in all its manifestations…Real resistance requires the humble confession that we are partners in the evil that we seek to resist’.

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Note

Published in New Oxford Review 52, no. 8 (October 1985): 10-12, 14-18.
Item is 2 of a series of 3 articles. See also Published works series, items 1687 and 1691.
This item was also published in an abbreviated form in Fellowship magazine, September, 1985 (see file 1686).
This item appears in a revised form in: Nouwen, Henri, The Road to Peace, ed. John Dear, Orbis, Maryknoll, N.Y., 1998 and in a revised form in: Nouwen, Henri, Peacework, Orbis, Maryknoll, N.Y., 2005.

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Accession Number

2000 01

Location

Box 296

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