Witness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis

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Farrar, Straus and Giroux, Nov 10, 1995 - Literary Collections - 384 pages

Witness to Freedom is the fifth and final volume in the extraordinary correspondence of "one of the most original and challenging minds of the mid-twentieth century" (John Tracy Ellis, The New York Times Book Review). Dramatic and revealing, these letters deal with periods of serious crisis in Thomas Merton's life and vocation, giving readers, in his own words, the details and behind-the-scene facts of his personal struggles as well as his lifelong commitment to peace.

This remarkable collection includes the unpublished "Cold War Letters" (as well as a complete list of the series), with Merton's original preface, which confirms their continuing relevance in the cause of peace. There are letters to ecologist Rachel Carson; artist and type designer Victor Hammer; Merton's friend and agent Naomi Burton Stone; his teacher Mark Van Doren; the Canadian philosopher Leslie Dewart; the French Arabic scholar Louis Massignon; and other famous as well as unknown correspondents. There is a courageous open letter to the American hierarchy on the issue of war. Witness to Freedom shows Merton as a living witness against war, perhaps one of the greatest of our century.

 

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WITNESS TO FREEDOM: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis

User Review  - Kirkus

Fifth, final, and least satisfying volume of Merton's prodigious correspondence (The Courage for Truth, 1993, etc.). Previous books in this series have presented Merton's letters on writing ... Read full review

Contents

II War and Freedom
15
Ill Mertons Life and Works
121
IV Religious Thought and Dialogue
259

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About the author (1995)

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is one of the foremost spiritual thinkers of the twentieth century. Though he lived a mostly solitary existence as a Trappist monk, he had a dynamic impact on world affairs through his writing. An outspoken proponent of the antiwar and civil rights movements, he was both hailed as a prophet and castigated for his social criticism. He was also unique among religious leaders in his embrace of Eastern mysticism, positing it as complementary to the Western sacred tradition. Merton is the author of over forty books of poetry, essays, and religious writing, including Mystics and Zen Masters, and The Seven Story Mountain, for which he is best known. His work continues to be widely read to this day.

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