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

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Macmillan, 1994 - Religion - 352 pages
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These letters deal with periods of serious crisis in Merton's life and vocation, about which many rumors and half-truths were circulated during his lifetime. They give readers, for the first time in his own words, the true details and the behind-the-scenes facts. Things came to a head in 1959 when Merton petitioned the Vatican, asking for an indult of exclaustration, or release, not from the Trappist Order, but for "a more solitary primitive existence in a monastic life" outside the United States. Abbot James Fox made a trip to Rome and the indult was not granted. Later Merton, who despised Communism and advocated Gandhian non-violence, was forbidden to publish anything against war and nuclear aggression - as if it was inappropriate for a monk to oppose war.

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

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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


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

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About the author (1994)

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer, and peace and civil rights activist. Merton's works have had a profound impact on contemporary religious and philosophical thought. He is best known for his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain and New Seeds of Contemplation.

William H. Shannon is Professor Emeritus, at Nazareth College in Rochester, New York. He is the founding president of the International Thomas Merton Society, the general editor of the Thomas Merton letters, and coauthor of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia with Christine Bochen and Patrick F. O'Connell. He is the author of the much acclaimed biography of Merton, Silent Lamp, as well as a number of books on spirituality, and has been published in many journals. He lives in Rochester, New York.

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