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Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton
     

Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton

4.0 2
by Jonathan Montaldo (With), Morgan C. Atkinson (Editor)
 

The Documentary as seen on PBS.
Noted by Google ' as a best book of 2008

A companion to award-winning producer Morgan Atkinson's documentary of the same title, this work draws us into the geographical landscape of Thomas Merton's life in America, a landscape that was intrinsic to his spiritual journey. Containing a considerable

Overview


The Documentary as seen on PBS.
Noted by Google ' as a best book of 2008

A companion to award-winning producer Morgan Atkinson's documentary of the same title, this work draws us into the geographical landscape of Thomas Merton's life in America, a landscape that was intrinsic to his spiritual journey. Containing a considerable amount of rich material unused in the documentary, Soul Searching is alive with the narrative of those who either knew Merton well or passionately care about him: Father Daniel Berrigan, Rosemary Ruether, Martin Marty, Paul Elie, and many others. Their insights are linked to the places 'from the Abbey of Gethsemani to the Redwoods Monastery in California, from New York City to Christ in the Desert Monastery in New Mexico that both nurtured and shaped Merton. The picture that emerges, through both the narrative and vivid photography, is filled with provocative insights into the interior landscape of one of the spiritual giants of modern times.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

[Y]oung and old, who are looking for a spiritual guide [are encouraged] to read this book.
Pastoral Music

Soul Searching is an excellent introduction to Merton’s life and thinking. Its generous use of well-reproduced photographs, and chatty style, make it very accessible.
The Merton Journal

Merton speaks to each generation about prayer, social concern, interreligious dialogue, and the search for the true self. Soul Searching helps us meditate on this legacy, and may send many more people back to the books that Merton himself wrote.
Commonweal

Atkinson and Montaldo draw from Trappist Monk Merton’s journals, books, letters, poetry, and photos, offering readers fascinating glimpses into the man beneath his public image.
Episcopal Life

While the book would not fit into your back pocket it would grace any prayer stool, bedside locker, glove compartment, or student desk. It is a good introduction to Merton and whets the appetite for further reading.
The Furrow

Thomas Merton was a highly spiritual man who gave much comfort to many people, and Soul Searching is a read for those to who want to be inspired further.
Midwest Book Review

The book of reminiscences, like the documentary, will surely awaken interest in Merton as an outstanding cultural figure and spiritual pilgrim.
Midwest Book Review

Following the film release, Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton as a book makes a considerable contribution to Merton studies. Twenty-four well-known Merton interpreters reflect on the monk, the solitary explorer, the social critic, and the man of letters in this engaging volume, thanks to the editorial collaboration of Morgan Atkinson and Jonathan Montaldo. It can be highly recommended to all seekers of God in our troubled times.
Br. Patrick Hart, Monk of Gethsemani and Merton’s last secretary

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814632642
Publisher:
Liturgical Press, The
Publication date:
10/01/2008
Pages:
216
Sales rank:
856,953
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 7.70(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author


Morgan Atkinson has worked as a communications professional since 1975. In 1985 he established Duckworks, Inc., a production company that creates independent and commissioned work. A resident of Louisville, Kentucky, Atkinson's primary focus is programming that examines issues of community and culture. He has had seven documentaries broadcast on KET/PBS, most recently the companion DVD to this volume.

Jonathan Montaldo has served as director of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University and is a past president of the International Thomas Merton Society. His editions of Thomas Merton's works include Entering the Silence: Thomas Merton's Journals, Volume 2; The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals (with Patrick Hart); Dialogues with Silence: Thomas Merton's Prayers & Drawings; A Year with Thomas Merton; Thomas Merton In His Own Words; Choosing to Love the World: Thomas Merton on Contemplation; and the eight-volume series Bridges to Contemplative Living with Thomas Merton (with Robert G. Toth).

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Soul Searching: The Journey of Thomas Merton 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Vocalis More than 1 year ago
Thomas Merton was a writer and monk who was a man ahead of his time. He could think outside the box of the institutional church. The book accompanies a DVD. The recording has a most interesting soundtrack that sounds like original jazz, the quintessential American music. This reviewer wants to make note of the fact the one of the interviewees in the book was his 6th grade teacher in the 1960's.
Henry_Berry More than 1 year ago
Not as overtly popular as he was in the 1960s, Thomas Merton nonetheless practiced a type of spirituality that is perennially appealing and enriching. The book of reminiscences of Merton by over 20 persons in different walks of life who knew him to varying degrees demonstrates his continuing appeal. Some of these are individuals who themselves are well-known for their interest in religion and influence. Daniel Berrigan was a '60's anti-Vietnam War activist who was a Catholic priest. Martin Marty is a noted religious scholar from the University of Chicago. Coauthor Jonathan Montaldo is a director at a retreat and author of books on Merton. Main author Atkinson is a producer who has done a documentary on Merton shown on PBS. This work of collected reminiscences is a companion to the TV program containing material left unused for it.

Merton was a (Catholic) Trappist monk with a searching interest in other religions and spiritualities. His continually growing spirituality--which he wrote about in many books, most notably The Seven Story Mountain published in 1948--was tied in with his moves to different locations and his travels. At the end of his life, he was in Asia (where he died in an accident with electricity) to study Buddhism and Zen firsthand. The material collected by Atkinson as free-ranging conversations for possible use in his documentary is organized according to "four geographical centers of Merton's adult life as lenses through which to see him." These centers are New York City; the Abbey of Gethsemini in rural Kentucky (with which Merton is most identified as a monk and writer); Louisville, Kentucky; and "points west and east" including California and Asia. Atkinson's interest is as much, if not more, a biographical portrait as spiritual one. To each of the four geographical centers, the editor/producer assigns "significant issues of Merton's life"; among these, Merton's "playboy years" when he was at Columbia University, his passing interest in communism, and his conversion to Catholicism.

The biographical emphasis does not obscure, though it limits, the quality and dimensions of the spirituality. One would want to go to Merton's books to get the full dimensions of his spirituality. The book of reminiscences, though, like the documentary, will surely awaken interest in Merton as an outstanding cultural figure and spiritual pilgrim.