Contemplation in a World of Action. Introduction by Jean Leclercq O.S.B.
New York, Image Books, 1973. 10.5 cm x 18 cm. 400 pages. Original illustrated softcover. Very good condition with some signs of external wear. Top of front page clipped. Annotations by preowner inside front and back cover and on rear page. Preowner underlining in introduction. Otherwise clean inside with solid binding.
Includes the following: Editorial Note / Monastic Renewal / The Case for Eremitism / Contemplative Life etc.
″Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O. (January 31, 1915 – December 10, 1968) was an American Catholic writer, theologian and mystic. A Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky, he was a poet, social activist, and student of comparative religion. In 1949, he was ordained to the priesthood and given the name Father Louis.
Merton wrote more than 70 books, mostly on spirituality, social justice and a quiet pacifism, as well as scores of essays and reviews. Among Merton’s most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain (1948), which sent scores of World War II veterans, students, and even teenagers flocking to monasteries across the US, and was also featured in National Review’s list of the 100 best non-fiction books of the century. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding. He pioneered dialogue with prominent Asian spiritual figures, including the Dalai Lama, the Japanese writer D.T. Suzuki, the Thai Buddhist monk Buddhadasa, and the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hanh, and authored books on Zen Buddhism and Taoism.” (Wikipedia)
″In this book, Merton presents his finest and clearest statements on the monastic life… His concern was for the fullest and most complete contemplative life and, though his other writings dicussed the results of that life, it is in the 21 essays of this book that we are asked to consider directly the contemplative life itself…
Six of the most interesting essays in this collection present a militant case for eremitism…The popular conception of a hermit is that he is one who withdraws from people because he hates them. Merton spoke the truth of the matter when he wrote, with characteristic simplicity, that ‘some of us have to be alone to be ourselves.’
At a time in American society when new forms of living are being attempted by a significant number of youth, this collection of essays is especially important, even for those who find formal religion repugnant…[Merton] did not believe that the cenobitic life was the only way. It was merely his, and it afforded him certain answers to the personal and social problems that each of us must address.” (New York Times Book Review)