This absorbing study shows how the scene is set for the Benedictine tradition to develop as well as the contrasts between St. Benedict’s passion for the common life and the more austere and solitary models which seemed to be pointing in another direction. Above all, Merton’s distinctive voice can be heard in the deep but lively and often humorous teaching material found in these pages.
About the Author
Thomas Merton (1915–1968), Catholic convert, Cistercian monk and hermit, poet, contemplative, social critic, and pioneer of interreligious dialogue, was a seminal figure of twentieth-century American Christianity. The one hundredth anniversary of his birth is being celebrated in 2015.
Patrick F. O'Connell is professor of English and theology at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania. A founding member and former president of the International Thomas Merton Society, he edits The Merton Seasonal and is coauthor of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia. He is the editor of Thomas Merton: Selected Essays (2013) and has also edited seven volumes of Thomas Merton’s monastic conferences for Cistercian Publications’ Monastic Wisdom Series, most recently, Charter, Customs, and Constitutions of the Cistercians (2015).