The Unquiet Monk: Thomas Merton's Questing Faith

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978-1-62698-112-6
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2016 CATHOLIC PRESS ASSOCIATION BOOK AWARD WINNER! - BIOGRAPHY 

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) the Trappist monk, spiritual writer, and social critic, remains one of the most influential religious figures of our time. From a cloistered monastery in Kentucky he spoke to the spiritual and social concerns of the world, offering a voice of conscience, sanity, and compassion. His fascinating life and spiritual wisdom continue to find an audience among spiritual seekers of all kinds. 

Here, Michael Higgins offers a fresh interpretation of Merton’s complex and multivalent genius. Drawing in part on interviews with those who knew him, Higgins explores the story of Merton’s life, his work as a poet and writer, his prophetic response to war and social disorder, his contemplative response to the human condition, and his forays into interreligious dialogue.

 For those just discovering Merton as well as his multitude of admirers, The Unquiet Monk offers a unique portrait of a universal spiritual master.

 A distinguished scholar and radio documentarian for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Michael W. Higgins is author of many books, including Genius Born of Anguish: The Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen (Paulist 2012) and Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary (Liturgical 2014). Former President and Chancellor of St. Jerome’s College, Waterloo, Canada, he is currently Vice President for Catholic Mission and Identity at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut. 

Book Details

Title:
The Unquiet Monk
Subtitle:
Thomas Merton's Questing Faith
Author:
Michael W. Higgins
Other:
Outside US contact Novalis, Canada
Pages:
128pp
Binding:
softcover
File name Filesize
The Unquiet Monk Table of Contents 81 Kb
A unique exploration into the life of Merton, one that should interest those who are familiar with the works and legacy of this "journalist, photographer, novelist, poet, social and political critic, calligrapher, essayist. priest.
In The Unquiet Monk: Thomas Merton's Questing Faith, distinguished scholar and documentarian Michael W. Higgins offers a fresh interpretation of Merton's complex and multi-valent genius. Drawing in part on interviews with those who knew him, Higgins explores the story of Merton's life, his work as a poet and writer, his prophetic response to war and social disorder, his contemplative response to the human condition, and his forays into inter-religious dialogue. If you are new to Merton, the volume offers a unique portrait of a universal spiritual master.
Michael W. Higgins is a distinguished scholar, a radio documentarian for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and author of many books. In this handy and helpful overview of the life and work of Thomas Merton (1915-1968), he focuses on the Renaissance Man as a poet, a contemplative, a critic, a scholar, a seeker who expanded the nature of the religious imagination, a zealous pilgrim to the Far East, and an icon of wholeness.

Years after his death, this Trappist monk's questing spirit has wide appeal in these times of religious diversity and interspirituality. Merton's vow of silence and his experiences as a hermit yearning for solitude has reached many who desire a more contemplative life. Yet at the same time, this mystic fused his contemplative side with social action. His diaries are filled with surprising insights, flashing epiphanies, and empathetic self-disclosures.

Higgins sees similarities between Merton and Jewish scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel: their antiwar stands, their mysticism, their respect for the riches of the imagination, and their mutual belief in prayer as a major source of faith and meaning. Merton's exposure and love of Zen enabled him to appreciate his trip to Asia and its attendant realizations. Higgins concludes:

"I felt once more the utter tenderness, the infinitude of a life lived with courage and an encompassing wholeness — these are my devoted memories of Thomas Merton, whose redemptive holiness is a light to all of us who knew him and will continue to shine in the hearts of people who will know him as the ages pass."
One hundred years after his birth in 1915, Thomas Merton continues to be one of the most influential religious figures of all time. Michael W. Higgins strives to share Merton’s fascinating life with readers in his book, Higgins explores Merton’s works as a poet and prophetic voice through fresh insights.
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