Thomas Merton's Unfinished Journey in Dialogue with Buddhism

Thomas Merton's Unfinished Journey in Dialogue with Buddhism Thomas Merton’s Unfinished Journey in Dialogue with Buddhism John P. Keenan Thomas Merton was many things—literary critic, poet, author of immensely popular spiritual books, social critic, proponent of dialogue with Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews. But throughout, he remained a Cistercian monk who longed to reform monastic life, aspired somehow to be a public hermit, and focused unwaveringly on the central importance of contemplative prayer and renewal. Because he was so multifaceted and so widely known and admired, Merton still attracts attention and praise—even the very public praise of Pope Francis speaking before the US Congress in September 2015. And because Merton was so malleable, he has been portrayed by others in many different ways: as an exemplar, a heretic, a confused man, a deeply committed monk, and a representative of all that was beginning to happen in the wake of Vatican II.1 And because, more than most humans, he lived in so many dimensions, it is difficult to write about him. The views and values—even the life experiences—of anyone who attempts to evaluate the contributions of Thomas Merton soon become apparent. Thus it is with some hesitation that I offer here my reading of Merton’s dialogic engagement http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Buddhist-Christian Studies University of Hawai'I Press

Thomas Merton's Unfinished Journey in Dialogue with Buddhism

Buddhist-Christian Studies, Volume 37 – Oct 28, 2017

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Publisher
University of Hawai'I Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The University of Hawai'i Press.
ISSN
1527-9472
Publisher site
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Abstract

Thomas Merton’s Unfinished Journey in Dialogue with Buddhism John P. Keenan Thomas Merton was many things—literary critic, poet, author of immensely popular spiritual books, social critic, proponent of dialogue with Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, and Jews. But throughout, he remained a Cistercian monk who longed to reform monastic life, aspired somehow to be a public hermit, and focused unwaveringly on the central importance of contemplative prayer and renewal. Because he was so multifaceted and so widely known and admired, Merton still attracts attention and praise—even the very public praise of Pope Francis speaking before the US Congress in September 2015. And because Merton was so malleable, he has been portrayed by others in many different ways: as an exemplar, a heretic, a confused man, a deeply committed monk, and a representative of all that was beginning to happen in the wake of Vatican II.1 And because, more than most humans, he lived in so many dimensions, it is difficult to write about him. The views and values—even the life experiences—of anyone who attempts to evaluate the contributions of Thomas Merton soon become apparent. Thus it is with some hesitation that I offer here my reading of Merton’s dialogic engagement

Journal

Buddhist-Christian StudiesUniversity of Hawai'I Press

Published: Oct 28, 2017

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