More About this Book

In this account of the time he spent in Rome, Nouwen offers reflections and spiritual insight characteristic of his best works. During the months in Rome, it wasn’t the red cardinals or the Red Brigade who had the most impact on Nouwen, but the little things that took place between the great scenes. In some ways, Nouwen discovered, the real and true story was told by the clowns he often saw in the city streets. In his own words, from the Introduction to Clowning in Rome: “The clowns are not the center of events. They appear between the great acts, fumble and fall and make us smile again after the tensions created by the heroes we came to admire. The clowns don’t have it together–they are awkward, out of balance and left-handed, but–they are on our side. The clowns remind us with a tear and a smile that we are sharing the same human weakness. The longer I was in Rome, the more I enjoyed the clowns, those peripheral people who by their humble, saintly lives evoke a smile and awaken hope, even in a city terrorized by kidnapping and street violence.”

Themes: Contemplation, Prayer, Solitude, Community, God, Jesus, Ministry, Christian Leadership 

Doubleday, 1979

Praise for "Clowning in Rome"

"Once again, Henri Nouwen has blown my mind. The man is so good at explaining the deepest of concepts in the most understandable, heartfelt terms."
"In a style which I have found to be Nouwen's signature, I found a great deal of wisdom for married life in the essay on celibacy."
"Told simply, with open hands and heart, once again Henri Nouwen guides the reader to hope - and a glimpse of joy."

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