Thomas Merton continues to speak with a prophetic voice. The 2015
centenary of his birth provides an opportunity to reconsider both
the international reputation and the relevance in today's world of
a man who still intrigues, perplexes and challenges - as a Trappist
monk, as a writer, as a contemplative, as a social critic, and (in
the context of world faiths) as an ecumenist. Merton's extensive
writings (many of which were not available until the late 1980s and
1990s) provide the basis of an examination of the various aspects
of his story, permitting Merton to speak for himself whenever
possible, but enabling also an analysis of his abiding fascination
and the discontents - human and divine - that dominated so much of
his life. In the light of all that he has to say, we are encouraged
to look again at our preconceived ideas about the natural world,
the prevailing culture, abuses of power, questions of war and
peace, institutions and the freedom of the individual,
contemplation and action - and the search for God.
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