A modern-day Confessions of Saint Augustine, The Seven Storey Mountain is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. This edition contains an introduction by Merton's editor, Robert Giroux, and a note to the reader by biographer William H. Shannon. It tells of the growing restlessness of a brilliant and passionate young man whose search for peace and faith leads him, at the age of twenty-six, to take vows in one of the most demanding Catholic orders—the Trappist monks. At the Abbey of Gethsemani, "the four walls of my new freedom," Thomas Merton struggles to withdraw from the world, but only after he has fully immersed himself in it. The Seven Storey Mountain has been a favorite of readers ranging from Graham Greene to Claire Booth Luce, Eldridge Cleaver, and Frank McCourt. Since its original publication this timeless spiritual tome has been published in over twenty languages and has touched millions of lives.
In this close examination of their friendship, through their correspondence, we see Waugh's coaching of a younger writer, and Waugh's brief infatuation with America. Most of all, we witness Merton the writing student and spiritual master and Waugh the master of prose and conflicted penitent.
From 1948 to 1952 the lives of Trappist monk Thomas Merton and British novelist Evelyn Waugh were closely intertwined. During these years, Waugh became enthusiastic about American Catholicism, and in particular, monasticism as seen through the eyes of the author of The Seven Storey Mountain. He agreed to edit Merton’s autobiography and the subsequent Waters of Siloe for publication in Britain. In this close examination of their friendship, through their correspondence, we see Waugh’s coaching of a younger writer and Waugh’s brief infatuation with America. Most of all, we witness Merton the writing student and spiritual master and Waugh the master of prose and conflicted penitent. And we see how the two men diverge as the Second Vatican Council takes hold in Catholicism and the church experiences profound change. "This careful study sheds light on Merton the writer with Evelyn Waugh as his tutor. It is also an interesting snapshot of the culture of midtwentieth century Catholic renewal." —Lawrence S. Cunningham, John A. O'Brien Professor of Theology (Emeritus), The University of Notre Dame “An absorbing exchange of letters between Thomas Merton and Evelyn Waugh, focusing principally on Waugh’s editing of the British publication of The Seven Storey Mountain and The Waters of Siloe. Waugh’s sometimes barbed comments caused Merton to reflect deeper on what he was writing and how he should respond, as positively as he could, to this influential Catholic novelist. A wonderful, brief study of both men.” —Patrick Samway, S.J., editor of The Letters of Robert Giroux and Thomas Merton (forthcoming, University of Notre Dame Press, 2015) “Dedicated readers of Evelyn Waugh and Thomas Merton know of the connections between two major Catholic writers, especially of Waugh as editor and writing coach for Merton's work. But in this brief but thoroughly researched book, Coady provides important new details about Merton's role not just as willing student but as spiritual advisor to Waugh and puts those details into the cultural and religious context of the years after World War II in clear and sometimes eloquent fashion.” —Robert Murray Davis, author of Brideshead Revisited: The Past Redeemed
This diary of a monastic life is “a continuation of The Seven Storey Mountain . . . Astonishing” (Commonweal). Chronicling six years of Thomas Merton’s life in a Trappist monastery, The Sign of Jonas takes us through his day-to-day experiences at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, where he lived in silence and prayer for much of his life. Concluding with the account of Merton’s ordination as a priest, this diary documents his growing acceptance of his vocation—and the greater meaning he found within his private world of contemplation. “This book is made unmistakably real and almost, at times, unbearably poignant by the fact that the exuberance of youth so often wells up through it with rapture, impatience, and even bluster.” —TheNew York Times “A stirring book—the most readable and on the whole, most illuminating of the author’s writings.” —Catholic World
The second volume of Thomas Merton's "gusty, passionate journals" (Thomas Moore) chronicles Merton's advancements to priesthood and emergence as a bestselling author with the surprise success of his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Spanning an eleven-year period, Entering the Silence reflects Merton's struggle to balance his vocation to solitude with the budding literary career that would soon established him as one of the most important spiritual writers of our century.
An account of the life of Thomas Merton, whose autobiography about life as a monk (The Seven Storey Mountain) became an instant bestseller. Furlong interviewed many of Merton's monastic colleagues and students to write this biography. This edition has been updated to include new information.
In this diary-like memoir, composed of his most poignant and insightful journal entries, The Intimate Merton lays bare the steep ways of Thomas Merton's spiritual path. Culled from the seven volumes of his personal journals, this twenty nine year chronicle deepens and extends the story Thomas Merton recounted and made famous in The Seven Storey Mountain. This book is the spiritual autobiography of our century's most celebrated monk -- the wisdom gained from the personal experience of an enduring spiritual teacher. Here is Merton's account of his life's major challenges, his confrontations with monastic and church hierarchies, his interaction with religious traditions east and west, and his antiwar and civil-rights activities. In The Intimate Merton we engage a writer's art of "confession and witness" as he searches for a contemporary, authentic, and global spirituality. Recounting Merton's earliest days in the monastery to his journey east to meet the Dalai Lama, The Intimate Merton captures the essence of what makes Thomas Merton's life journey so perennially relevant.
Author: Matthew S. Hedstrom
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2012-10-26
Winner of the Frank S. and Elizabeth D. Brewer Best First Book Prize of the American Society of Church History Society for U. S. Intellectual History Notable Title in American Intellectual History The story of liberal religion in the twentieth century, Matthew S. Hedstrom contends, is a story of cultural ascendency. This may come as a surprise-most scholarship in American religious history, after all, equates the numerical decline of the Protestant mainline with the failure of religious liberalism. Yet a look beyond the pews, into the wider culture, reveals a more complex and fascinating story, one Hedstrom tells in The Rise of Liberal Religion. Hedstrom attends especially to the critically important yet little-studied arena of religious book culture-particularly the religious middlebrow of mid-century-as the site where religious liberalism was most effectively popularized. By looking at book weeks, book clubs, public libraries, new publishing enterprises, key authors and bestsellers, wartime reading programs, and fan mail, among other sources, Hedstrom is able to provide a rich, on-the-ground account of the men, women, and organizations that drove religious liberalism's cultural rise in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s. Critically, by the post-WWII period the religious middlebrow had expanded beyond its Protestant roots, using mystical and psychological spirituality as a platform for interreligious exchange. This compelling history of religion and book culture not only shows how reading and book buying were critical twentieth-century religious practices, but also provides a model for thinking about the relationship of religion to consumer culture more broadly. In this way, The Rise of Liberal Religion offers both innovative cultural history and new ways of seeing the imprint of liberal religion in our own times.
Author: Robert Detweiler
Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press
Release Date: 2000-01-01
Genre: Literary Criticism
Featuring a selection from over 80 key texts, this anthology aims to help the reader to understand the common origins of religious expression and of literature. The texts included cover classical literature, the Bible, English and European classics and contemporary works.
Author: Patrick F. O'Connell
Publisher: Liturgical Press
Release Date: 2015-05-19
This volume gathers together twelve essays that Thomas Merton wrote for various journals between 1947 and 1952, the years that saw the publication of his best-selling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain, his ordination to the priesthood, and his initial appointment as spiritual and intellectual guide of the young monks at the Abbey of Gethsemani. The essays, most of which have never been reprinted, focus above all on aspects of the contemplative life but also consider the spiritual dimensions of literature and the social implications of Christian life. Issued to coincide with the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, this collection brings to fruition at long last Merton’s own original plan of publishing these essays as a group and so makes available a previously little recognized and underutilized resource for understanding and appreciating a crucial transitional phase in his life as both monk and writer.