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.
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.
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: Ross Labrie
Publisher: University of Missouri Press
Release Date: 2001
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Roman Catholic priest, a Trappist monk, a social activist, and a poet. Author of the celebrated autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain, Merton has been described as the most important American religious writer of the past hundred years. One of the notable characteristics of Merton's writing, both in poetry and in prose, was his seamless intermingling of religious and Romantic elements, an intermingling that, because of his gifts as a writer and because of his enormous influence, has had the effect of making widespread a distinctive form of religious thought and expression. In Thomas Merton and the Inclusive Imagination, Ross Labrie reveals the breadth of Merton's intellectual reach by taking an original and systematic look at Merton's thought, which is generally regarded as eclectic and unsystematic.
Considers the legacy of Thomas Merton and his relevance for contemporary times. With the publication of The Seven Storey Mountain in 1948, Thomas Merton became a bestselling author, writing about spiritual contemplation in a modern context. Although Merton (1915–1968) lived as a Trappist monk, he advocated a spiritual life that was not a retreat from the world, but an alternative to it, particularly to the deadening materialism and spiritual vacuity of the postwar West. Over the next twenty years, Merton wrote for a wide audience, bringing the wisdom of Christianity, Buddhism, and Sufism into dialogue with the period’s contemporary thought. In Thinking through Thomas Merton, Robert Inchausti introduces readers to Merton and evaluates his continuing relevance for our time. Inchausti shows how Merton broke the high modernist trance so that we might become the change we wish to see in the world by refiguring the lost virtues of silence, contemplation, and community in a world enamored by the will to power, virtuoso performance, radical skepticism, and materialist metaphysics. Merton’s defense of contemplative culture is considered in light of the postmodern thought of recent years and emerges as a compelling alternative. “Inchausti explores Merton’s understanding of Western Christian monasticism and provides new insights into his critique of modernity.” — Curt Cadorette, author of Catholicism in Social and Historical Contexts: An Introduction