The Return of the Prodigal Son - Henri Nouwen

The Return of the Prodigal Son

By Henri Nouwen

  • Release Date: 1994-03-01
  • Genre: Christianity
5 Score: 5 (From 30 Ratings)


The bestselling Henri Nouwen title of all time! Over a million copies sold world wide. Essential reading for Christians, Catholics, and all spiritual seekers.

For all who ask, "Where has my struggle led me?" or for those "on the road" who have had the courage to embark on the journey but seek the illumination, this work will inspire.

A chance encounter with a reproduction of Rembrandt's The Return of the Prodigal Son catapulted Henri Nouwen on a long spiritual adventure. Here he shares the deeply personal and resonant meditation that led him to discover the place within where God has chosen to dwell.

In seizing the inspiration that came to him through Rembrandt's depiction of the powerful Gospel story, Henri Nouwen probes the several movements of the parable: the younger son's return, the father's restoration of sonship, the elder son's vengefulness, and the father's compassion. In his reflection on Rembrandt in light of his own life journey, the author evokes a powerful drama of the parable in a rich, capativating way that is sure to reverberate in the hearts of readers. The themes of homecoming, affirmation, and reconciliation will be newly discovered by all who have known loneliness, dejection, jealousy, or anger. The challenge to love as the father and be loved as the son will be seen as the ultimate revelation of the parable known to Christians throughout time, and here represented with a vigor and power fresh for our times.

"The Return of the Prodigal Son is a beautiful book, as beautiful in the simple clarity of its wisdom as in the terrible beauty of the transformation to which it calls us." --New Oxford Review


  • Excellent

    By Kingdrippin
    It's one I've added to my list of only 4 other "must reads".
  • A Painting and a Parable

    By MarieJaq
    The renowned artist, Rembrandt, produced a magnificent and moving painting depicting the parable of the return of the prodigal son, with the son kneeling in the road in rags, the father bending compassionately over him, and the older brother standing rigidly to the side. Noted theologian Henri Nouwen was inspired by a reproduction of the painting to finally view the original and to write a book that is about you, me and all of us – each of us the son, the brother and the father as we make our way on our spiritual journeys. An essential read for all who seek to deepen their faith and understanding of this familiar story.