Seeds

Overview

Thomas Merton is often considered the most prominent Christian contemplative of the twentieth century, but he was also a political activist, social visionary, and literary figure whose writings combine the candor of Thoreau and the moral vision of Gandhi. Here is a remarkably accessible introduction to his work: a collection of a short, vivid excerpts arranged in four parts so as to parallel the journey of a seeking soul in the modern world.

   •  "Real and False Selves" distinguishes between ...

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Overview

Thomas Merton is often considered the most prominent Christian contemplative of the twentieth century, but he was also a political activist, social visionary, and literary figure whose writings combine the candor of Thoreau and the moral vision of Gandhi. Here is a remarkably accessible introduction to his work: a collection of a short, vivid excerpts arranged in four parts so as to parallel the journey of a seeking soul in the modern world.

   •  "Real and False Selves" distinguishes between our real selves, a deep religious mystery known entirely only to God, and the identities we take on in order to function in society.
   •  "The World We Live In" provides a spiritual context to modern life, moving from a stark rejection of its empty promises to a deep compassion for its tragic limitations.
   •  "Antidotes to Illusion" reflects on contemplative practices that can serve as the allies of our "real selves" in the battle against illusion: silence, solitude, meditation, prayer, charity, and faith.
   •  "Love in Action" explores the role of the contemplative in the modern age and the challenges and pitfalls of living a life of active love.

Merton's startling critique of a society driven by technology and rampant acquisition, the politics of "good versus evil," and the self-deluding complacency of the spiritual "lifestyle" demonstrate beyond doubt that his writings are as urgent today as they were in his lifetime.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Readers looking for a short introduction to Thomas Merton's writings will benefit greatly from Seeds, a collection of brief excerpts from America's most famous 20th-century monk. Merton discusses the usual topics of prayer, silence, contemplation and solitude, but he also sounds off on politics, social justice, foreign policy, technology, materialism and his growing affinity for Zen Buddhism. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781570629303
  • Publisher: Shambhala Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/8/2002
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,363,747
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas Merton (1915–1968) was a Trappist monk, spiritual director, political activist, social critic, and one of the most-read spiritual writers of the twentieth century. He is the author of many books, including The Seven Storey Mountain.
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Table of Contents

Introduction
Pt. 1 Real and False Selves 1
Pt. 2 The World we Live in 25
Unquiet City 27
The Technological Imperative 43
Events and Pseudo-Events 49
Pt. 3 Antidotes to Illusion 57
Truth 59
Silence 63
Solitude 65
Prayer, Meditation, Contemplation 75
Monasticism 92
Faith 98
Charity 104
Humility 106
Vocation 113
God 116
Pt. 4 Love in Action 127
Toward a Theology of Love 129
Nonviolence 140
Sainthood 152
Books and Tapes by and about Thomas Merton 159
Sources and Abbreviations 163
Acknowledgments 165
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