Hong-Rak Chae

Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2021.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Christopher M. Hadley, S.J.


This thesis focuses on the insights of Henri J. M. Nouwen with regard to the spirituality of Christian priesthood in the modern Korean church. It searches for a harmonious integration of contemplation and practice within the context of the divided country of Korea. The integration of contemplation and practice has been discussed countless times in Christian history and was a central theme in the Second Vatican Council. Both contemplation and practice are indispensable elements in spirituality; thus, it is meaningless to address which element should take priority. The realm of contemplation is not visible, but practice can be visually perceived. Numerous mystics in spiritual theology have explored contemplation in their own ways, which makes it challenging to understand the depth of contemplation. Nevertheless, the mystic of our time, Henri J. M. Nouwen, explains contemplation and practice so efficiently that anyone can understand it. Through persistent prayer, he was able to stay awake to God’s voice, whom he experienced with all his senses. For Nouwen, writing was a spiritual training to put the contemplation he realized into concrete practice. Therefore, this thesis explores the path of a harmonious integration between contemplation and practice through Nouwen’s books.