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Richard Francis Xavier Manning, known as Brennan Manning (April 27, 1934 – April 12, 2013) was an American author, priest, and public speaker. He is best known for his bestselling book The Ragamuffin Gospel.
Background and Career
Born and raised in Depression-era New York City, Manning finished high school, enlisted in the US Marine Corps, and fought in the Korean War. After returning to the United States, he enrolled at Saint Francis University in Loretto, Pennsylvania. Upon his graduation from the seminary in 1963, Manning was ordained a Franciscan priest.
In the late 1960s, Manning joined the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld, a religious institute committed to an uncloistered, contemplative life among the poor. Manning transported water via donkey, worked as a mason's assistant and a dishwasher in France, was imprisoned (by choice) in Switzerland, and spent six months in a remote cave somewhere in the Zaragoza desert. In the 1970s, Manning returned to the United States and began writing after confronting his alcoholism.
Singer-songwriter Rich Mullins named his band, A Ragamuffin Band, after one of Manning's books. Warren Barfield's music is also often inspired by Manning, as is the work of singer-songwriter Matthew Perryman Jones.
The following quote appeared in the prelude to dc Talk's song "What if I Stumble?" It also appeared on an intro track for the Christian metalcore band War of Ages on its album Fire From the Tomb. Manning added: "That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable."
Christ-based Individualism: Manning taught a message of individualism within a context of Christ. "When I accept in the depth of my being that the ultimate accomplishment of my life is me -- the person I've become and who other persons are because of me -- then living in the wisdom of accepted tenderness is ... a way of life." When a person accepts himself as loved by God, he is liberated from conceptions of "the blood line, the nation, the church, money, ego, entitlement, sexual muscle, security, violence, and the paltry gods of modern life." He rejects the idea of teaching the love of God with limits. "I cling to the God of my experience, whose love beggars belief."
The Church as Mystery: Manning resented the Roman Catholic Church's treatment of married priests. After citing examples, he says that he is "dismayed, infuriated, and heartbroken over its travesty of tenderness." He asserts that "church abuse isn't limited to one denomination." The institutional church, which exists to serve the people of God," he states, "is never to be confused with the church as mystery...". The Church as Mystery, according to Manning is everyone who is Christ-centered, faithful to the Bible, tender and compassionate. It consists of those "who walk the talk.".
Jesus is the Human Face of God: Manning contrasted the brutality of the institutional church with Jesus' treatment of the adulterous woman of John 8:1-11 and of his meeting of the widow of Nain (Luke 7:11-17). He proclaims Jesus as "the human face of God." 
- Gentle Revolutionaries, 1970
- Souvenirs of Solitude, 1979
- Stranger to Self-Hatred, 1981
- Parable of William Juan, 1985
- Prophets & Lovers: In Search of the Holy Spirit, 1985
- Lion and Lamb/the Relentless Tenderness of Jesus, 1986
- The Signature of Jesus, 1988
- The Ragamuffin Gospel, 1990, 2000, 2005
- Abba's Child: The Cry of the Heart for Intimate Belonging, 1994 (NavPress)
- The Signature of Jesus, 1996
- The Boy Who Cried Abba: A Parable of Trust and Acceptance, 1996
- Reflections for Ragamuffins: Daily Devotions from the Writings of Brennan Manning, 1998
- Ruthless Trust: The Ragamuffin's Path to God, 2001
- Rich Mullins: An Arrow Pointing to Heaven, 2001 (foreword only)
- Manning, Brennan (2002), The Wisdom of Tenderness: What Happens When God's Fierce Mercy Transforms Our Lives, New York: HarperOne, p. 179, ISBN 978-0-06-072446-7
- The Journey of the Prodigal: A Parable of Sin and Redemption, 2002 (b)
- A Glimpse of Jesus: The Stranger to Self-Hatred, 2003
- The Importance of Being Foolish: How to think like Jesus 2006
- The Furious Longing of God, 2009
- Souvenirs of Solitude: Finding Rest in Abba's Embrace, 2009 (2nd Ed, NavPress)
- Patched Together: A Story of My Story, 2010
- All Is Grace: A Ragamuffin Memoir, 2011
- All Is Grace: Book Excerpt www.patheos.com October 16, 2011 – My mother had prayed for a girl. What she got on April 27, 1934, was a boy, me, Richard Manning. My name has not always been Brennan.
- "Meet Brennan Manning". Christianbook.com. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- "Brennan Manning Sermon". YouTube. November 5, 2007. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Notice of Manning's death
- Tennant, Agnieszka (June 2004, Vol. 48, No. 6). "Ragamuffin". Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Rinehart, Paula (October 6, 2002). "Living as God's beloved:An Interview with Brennan Manning". The Ooze. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Patterson, Trish (June 2–4, 2000). "Healing Our Image of God". The Phantom Tollbooth. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Matthew Perryman Jones Myspace
- Manning 2002 (a) p. 3
- Manning 2002 (a) p. 8-11
- Manning 2002 (a) p. 12
- YouTube: Brennan Manning Live At Woodcrest
- YouTube: Brennan Manning Sermon: Kingdom Works 1999 Video