Pramuk’s study goes as far as any in outlining the Christology developed in Merton’s copious writings. And by placing Merton in conversation with an eclectic group of theologians, past and present, the book succeeds in underscoring Merton’s Christology and his understanding of the wisdom tradition. A new generation of Merton enthusiasts will appreciate both the effort and the result.
Christopher Pramuk masterfully guides the reader into how Merton’s life was transformed by his dialogue with both the Russian and Eastern mystics. Just when one thinks that enough has been written about Merton, that there is little more to be said, then here comes another gem that deserves serious attention.
Bishop Robert F. Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay
I love this book. Pramuk’s writing is at once deeply insightful and beautifully poetic. . . . It marks a fresh new insight into the depth of Merton’s theological vision.
Pramuk’s Sophia stands out as an exemplar of the best of what scholars of Merton can offer. . . .The book is a reflection on the nature of theology and a call to the renewal of the practice of theology through the sophiological approach. As such, it should be of interest not only to those interested in the retrieval of Merton’s ideas and in the reconstruction of his monastic, theological, and personal identity, but also to those who remain convinced that theology still has something important to say in response to the most pressing questions that we face today.
American Benedictine Review
This book will appeal to those who give it slow study and reflection. It is prayerful and mystical as well as being a finely documented academic study. The language is beautiful and engaging; one emerges from even a few pages feeling inspired and energized. Ahso that’s what we believe and why we are Catholic!’ one might conclude with pride and hope.
Pramuk has written an audacious, radical and ultimately inspiring book. Audaciously, he takes on the complex and controversial task of translating Merton’s richly literary and poetic writings into theology. In doing so, he calls Christians, and especially Christian theologians, radically to deepen or repossess the mystical sources for their life and work. The result is an inspiring invitation to find new and deeper meaning in both doctrine and practice.
Pramuk has jumped to the head of the pack and become one of our premiere theologians. . . . This book traces the emergence of Sophia in Merton’s life and writings as a love and a presence that breaks through into the worlda living symbol and name through which he encountered the living God and with which he chose, at his poetic and prophetic best, to structure theological discourse.
National Catholic Reporter
Christopher Pramuk’s Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton, is nothing less than a gift to Merton scholars, serious theologians, and contemplatively-minded Christians alike. . . . [It] represents a new starting point in Merton studies. There is no doubt that Pramuk’s book deserves and will receive significant attention.
The Merton Seasonal
Christopher Pramuk is associate professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton and Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters across the Color Line both from Liturgical Press. The recipient of the Catholic Theological Society of America's 2009 Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award, he has also received the International Thomas Merton Society's 2011 Thomas Merton Award, and several best essay awards from the Catholic Press Association. A lifelong musician and student of African American spirituality, he has led numerous workshops on the healing of race relations in society and the church as well as retreats on the life and writings of Thomas Merton.