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A Silent Action

The comtemplative path to truth through engagements with Thomas Merton [Paperback]

by Rowan Williams

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams takes a closer look at the works of writer Thomas Merton

    • Author

      Rowan Williams

    • Book Format


    • Publisher

      SPCK Publishing

    • Published

      April 2013

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    Product Description

    “Thomas Merton’s life, especially once he had become a monk, was to a great extent one of dialogue with people who were either distant or dead.” So says Archbishop Rowan Williams on the publication of this collection of essays on Thomas Merton.

    In this book, Rowan Williams looks closely at two such relationships in Merton’s life—first with the Orthodox theologian, Paul Evdokimov, and then with Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian who, by a surprising providence, died on the same day as Merton. Rowan also takes note of the impact on Merton’s thought of books by Hannah Arendt, Dostoevsky, Vladimir Lossky, Olivier Clément, Bonhoeffer, Boris Pasternak, and St. John of the Cross.

    In these essays Rowan shows us how Merton regarded Christian life without a contemplative dimension as incomplete insisting that the contemplative life is not only for those living in monasteries but for anyone who seeks an interior monasticism. Contemplative prayer, he reveals, is the vocation of every believer.

    One of many points of agreement for Merton and Rowan is their Orwell-like awareness of the abuse of language; such as where war is described and justified in words that mask its actual purpose, cloaking its actual cost in human agony. The problem extends to religious words as well - ways of speaking about God that hide rather than reveal.

    There is much in common between these two men who never met face to face. But what stands out in the dialogue is their conviction of God as the ground of their being and their commitment to the contemplative journey away from the false self, or what Thomas Merton refers to as the 'delusory self image', and toward the real self.

    Thomas Merton's life, especially once he had become a writer, was to a great extent one of dialogue with people who were distant, both geographically and historically. In these probing and perceptive studies, Rowan Williams looks closely at the key intellectual and spiritual relationships that emerge in Merton's writings, exploring the impact on him of thinkers as diverse as Hannah Arendt, Karl Barth, William Blake, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Olivier Clement, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Paul Evdokimov, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Vladimir Lossky, John Henry Newman, Boris Pasternak and St John of the Cross.


    • Author

      Rowan Williams

    • Book Format


    • Publisher

      SPCK Publishing

    • Published

      April 2013

    • Weight


    • Page Count


    • Dimensions

      152 x 229 x 7 mm

    • ISBN


    • ISBN-10


    • Eden Code


    More Information

    • Author/Creator: Rowan Williams

    • ISBN: 9780281070565

    • Publisher: SPCK Publishing

    • Release Date: April 2013

    • Weight: 150g

    • Dimensions: 152 x 229 x 7 mm

    • Eden Code: 4071982



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