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Becoming Human [Paperback]

Jean Vanier
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 14.20 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Book Description

Sept. 1 2008
In this provocative work, Jean Vanier shares his profoundly human vision for creating a common good that radically changes our communities, our relationships, and ourselves. He proposes that by opening ourselves to outsiders, those we perceive as weak, different, or inferior, we can achieve true personal and societal freedom.

Our society shuns weakness and glorifies strength. By embracing weakness, however, we learn new ways of living and discover greater compassion, trust, and understanding. This spirit of inclusion has extraordinary implications for the way we live our lives and build our communities.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Frequently Bought Together

Becoming Human + From Brokenness to Community + Befriending the Stranger
Price For All Three: CDN$ 37.75

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Product Description


Jean Vanier has written a much-needed corrective to those one-sided attitudes that undervalue relatedness and feeling . . . This short yet powerful and gripping meditation on what makes for a truly humane and compassionate humanity is not to be missed. --Toronto Star

Revolutionary and moving at its core . . . Becoming Human traces a possible path of spiritual evolution from loneliness and alienation towards joy and fulfillment. --Maclean's

These moving and gentle passages help us think about human value in the right way. --Globe and Mail

From the Publisher

A #1 National Bestseller

Winner of the Writers' Trust Gordon Montador Award

The Massey Lectures are co-sponsored by Massey College, in the University of Toronto, and CBC Radio. The series was created in honour of the Right Honourable Vincent Massey, former governor general of Canada, and was inaugurated in 1961 to enable distinguished authorities to communicate the results of original study or research on subjects of contemporary interest.

This book comprises the 1998 Massey Lectures, "Becoming Human," broadcast in November 1998 as part of CBC Radio's Ideas series. The producer of the series was Philip Coulter; the executive producer was Bernie Lucht. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful Insight Feb. 21 2002
By "ikmag"
I came across this book after reading a footnote in one of Henri Nouwen's book. It first caught my attention in one of Neowen's passages. I was quite intrigued by Vanier's insight and remarks. Once reading Becoming Human I was again reminded of the sanctity of life. "We are simply human beings, enfolded in weakness and in hope, called together to change our world one heart at a time." (p.163)Vanier's insight into the human heart brings a chilling reminder that we are not a society of the strong and intelligent, that is just part of being human. Understanding our weaknesses and brokeness brings us to a fullness that God originaly intended for us.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A thought provoking, deeply inspiring read. May 1 2000
By A Customer
As a young man, Jean Vanier founded the Larch Society. The Larch Society is a network of communities around the world where severly mentally and physically handicapped adults live together with other caring adults in small groups. Through his experiences living with these severly handicapped individuals, Vanier has asked and answered the question, what is the essence of being human. In this eloquently written, thoughtful and thought provoking book, Jean Vanier discussed what he feels truly determines humanity , what makes us more than just talking, intelligent animals. Although Vanier writes from a Christian perspective, this book is for anyone, of any religious or spiritual perspective or belief.
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5.0 out of 5 stars For Anyone Who Is Not Yet Perfect Feb. 28 2001
By wvano
Originally a series of radio broadcasts on the CBC, this delightful little book is a refresher course in being human. In a deceptively simple, meditative style, Jean Vanier shares the wisdom he has gained from years of helping disabled people at the L'Arche communities he founded. Vanier gently explores human frailty and dignity, our need for individual affirmation and loving community, issues of freedom and forgiveness, and the nature of true maturity.
Perhaps all disabled people (in the sense that includes all of us) can gain some insight and inspiration here.
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4.0 out of 5 stars great book Feb. 7 2014
By Hillary
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
purchased for school reading but turned out to be very enjoyable and I would seek other books written by him as well. For my needs it is a fantastic read and inspiring.
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