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Love and Living Paperback – November 11, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (November 11, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0156027992
  • ISBN-13: 978-0156027991
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #655,743 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was born in France and came to live in the United States at the age of 24. He received several awards recognizing his contribution to religious study and contemplation, including the Pax Medal in 1963, and remained a devoted spiritualist and a tireless advocate for social justice until his death in 1968. Love and Living was originally published in 1979.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Michael J. Wahl on December 16, 1999
Format: Paperback
This collection of some of Mertons mature work from the 1960's covers, in essay form, meditations on love, life, death, Christian Humanism and more (you want more! ), always given the penetrating and broad social perspective of one very spiritual master, who chose to share with us. Still relevant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By jzactor on May 24, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thomas Merton is simply incredible and in my opinion the most significant religious for half a century. This book is a fine treatment about the realities of love in ouir lives. He has a way of making the deepest and even mystical matters understandable and he more than any author has been the most influential for me 1972. That's a long time. He is a gifted, humorous, lucid and superb author. You cannot get much better than him if you are interested in a real "spiritual life".
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By F. Rogers on September 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Eloquent, literate and subtly thought. Fruits of a life well and broadly lived, and deeply examined.
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Format: Paperback
This collection of essays by the late Thomas Merton is decades old, yet it remains as relevant as ever -- perhaps even more so, as it delves into the difficulties of living an authentic life in an increasingly superficial, materialistic world swamped by technology but lacking in basic humanity. And I write this as a lapsed Catholic, long an agnostic. Merton is a reminder of what genuine spiritual writing should be like: intelligent, compassionate, refusing to settle for dogma or simplistic cliches. All that he wrote about in the 1950s/1960s is even more true today, as individuals struggle to negotiate world that's dazzling on the surface but all too often empty beneath. His essay on Symbolism alone will resonate for anyone seeking more than the shallow pseudo-philosophies offered by the mass market; and his writing on Christian humanism shows what's missing in so much of today's politicized public religion, which is used more as a bludgeon than anything else in order to gain & maintain control over others. His is a call to inward contemplation, in-depth reading & thought, and an awareness of our own flaws & illusions, rather than looking for scapegoats in order to avoid the hard work of facing ourselves as we are, and striving to become what we could be. For anyone who despairs of surviving as a reasonably whole person, this book is urgently recommended!
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More About the Author

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has millions of copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race.

After a rambunctious youth and adolescence, Merton converted to Roman Catholicism and entered the Abbey of Gethsemani, a community of monks belonging to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists), the most ascetic Roman Catholic monastic order.

The twenty-seven years he spent in Gethsemani brought about profound changes in his self-understanding. This ongoing conversion impelled him into the political arena, where he became, according to Daniel Berrigan, the conscience of the peace movement of the 1960's. Referring to race and peace as the two most urgent issues of our time, Merton was a strong supporter of the nonviolent civil rights movement, which he called "certainly the greatest example of Christian faith in action in the social history of the United States." For his social activism Merton endured severe criticism, from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, who assailed his political writings as unbecoming of a monk.

During his last years, he became deeply interested in Asian religions, particularly Zen Buddhism, and in promoting East-West dialogue. After several meetings with Merton during the American monk's trip to the Far East in 1968, the Dali Lama praised him as having a more profound understanding of Buddhism than any other Christian he had known. It was during this trip to a conference on East-West monastic dialogue that Merton died, in Bangkok on December 10, 1968, the victim of an accidental electrocution. The date marked the twenty-seventh anniversary of his entrance to Gethsemani.

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