Item description for Thomas Merton: A Life in Letters: The Essential Collection (Merton, Thomas//Journal of Thomas Merton) by William H. Shannon & Christine M. Bochen...
Overview Collects significant letters from the Trappist monk, civil rights activist, and writer, offering insight into his spirituality and his quest combine to Eastern philosophy with Western spirituality.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was one of the most influential spiritual writers of modern times. A Trappist monk, peace and civil rights activist, and widely-praised literary figure, Merton was renowned for his pioneering work in contemplative spirituality, his quest to understand Eastern thought and integrate it with Western spirituality, and his firm belief in Christian activism. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, is the defining spiritual memoir of its time, selling over one million copies and translating into over fifteen languages.
Merton was also one of the most prolific and provocative letter writers of the twentieth century. His letters (those written both by him and to him), archived at the Thomas Merton Studies Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky, number more than ten thousand. For Merton, letters were not just a vehicle for exchanging information, but his primary means for initiating, maintaining, and deepening relationships. Letter-writing was a personal act of self-revelation and communication. His letters offer a unique lens through which we relive the spiritual and social upheavals of the twentieth century, while offering wisdom that is still relevant for our world today.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 1.25" Width: 6.25" Height: 9.5" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date Oct 7, 2008
ISBN 0061348325 ISBN13 9780061348327
Availability 0 units.
More About William H. Shannon & Christine M. Bochen
WILLIAM H. SHANNON, professor emeritus in the religious studies department at Nazareth College, is a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, New York. He is the author of numerous books, including "Thomas Merton s Paradise Journey: Writings on Contemplation," "Something of a Rebel: Thomas Merton, His Life and WorksAn Introduction" and "Exploring the Catechism of the Catholic Church." He is the founding president of the International Thomas Merton Society."
William H. Shannon currently resides in Rochester, in the state of New York.
Reviews - What do customers think about Thomas Merton: A Life in Letters: The Essential Collection (Merton, Thomas//Journal of Thomas Merton)?
Getting to Know a Great Spiritual Writer Aug 21, 2005
Trappist M. Basil Pennington, a friend of Thomas Merton, has put together a brilliant introduction to the man known as one of the great modern spiritual writers. In the introduction, the editor expresses the wish that this anthology will be as "savory" to those new to Merton as it is to long-term fans. He accomplishes that goal by organizing excerpts from Merton's books, articles, journals, letters, and poems seamlessly and inserting himself only briefly, with short comments before each new topic. He has also added titles the excerpts and cited the original works and page numbers. As logic would dictate, the first section is taken wholly from Merton's best known work, "Seven Storey Mountain," which ends as the recently baptized Merton moves toward joining the Trappists.
Other sections address Merton's journey into prayer, exploration of eastern religion, and advocacy for peace and justice. He writes that "stopping too soon is the commonest dead-end in prayer." And of peace: "The only way truly to `overcome' an enemy is to help him become other than an enemy. This is the kind of wisdom we find in Gandhi. It is the wisdom of the Gospels." Alongside these reflections, we occasionally glimpse Merton's lighter side, as when he suggests that lay persons who wish to practice contemplation might move to the country or take jobs that lend to solitude. The small town move, he admits, might involve poverty, and the solitary job, well, "Not everybody wants to spend his life as a night watchman, and for very good reasons." He goes on to make some practical suggestions on contemplative prayer in secular life.
Pennington has given us a resource that demonstrates Merton's breadth and depth, his humor and his intelligence, and most of all, his great love for God.