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The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton

The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton


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WINNER of the 2021 Thomas Merton Award awarded by The International Thomas Merton Society

What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun?

Mystic, monk, and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions in the twentieth century. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today.

In The Seeker and the Monk, Scott mines the extensive private journals of one of the most influential contemplative thinkers of the past for guidance on how to live in these fraught times.

As a Black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited, and intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship, and love. She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? Is there ever such a thing as a wrong answer to a spiritual question? How do we care about the brutality in the world while not becoming overwhelmed by it?

By engaging in this lively discourse, readers will gain a steady sense of how to dwell more deeply within—and even to love—this despairing and radiant world.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781506464961
Publisher: 1517 Media
Publication date: 03/16/2021
Pages: 202
Sales rank: 180,136
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sophfronia Scott is a novelist, essayist, and leading contemplative thinker whose work has appeared in Time, People, O: The Oprah Magazine, and numerous other outlets. When her first novel, All I Need to Get By, was published, she was nominated for best new author at the African American Literary Awards and hailed by Henry Louis Gates Jr. as "one of the best writers of her generation." Her other books include Unforgivable Love, Love's Long Line, and This Child of Faith. Scott holds degrees from Harvard and the Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

Barbara Brown Taylor is an Episcopal priest and former rector of Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church in Clarkesville, Georgia. She currently holds the Harry R. Butman Chair in Religion and Philosophy at Piedmont College in Demorest, Georgia. A popular preacher, speaker, and workshop leader, she was recently noted in Newsweek as one of the twelve most effective preachers in the English language. Her books include Bread of Angels; Gospel Medicine; The Preaching Life; When God is Silent, Mixed Blessings, and her newest book, Home By Another Way.

Table of Contents

Foreword Barbara Brown Taylor ix

1 This Monk Who Follows Me Around: Getting to Know Thomas Merton 1

2 Alexa, Where's My Stuff? When What We Own Owns Us 17

3 Your Work and God's Work: How to Put Ambition in Its Place 35

4 I Am a Bird, Waiting: How to Find God's Presence in Nature 49

5 When Faith Tires: How to Revive Spirit after an Epiphany 65

6 The Soul Selects Its Society: How to Make Spiritual Friends 79

7 Human in an Inhuman Age: How to Serve the World 97

8 The Hermione Granger of Gethsemani: How to Pray 115

9 Hopeful Eyes on a Hopeless Issue: How to Resist Racism 135

10 Swiping Right in the Marketplace: How to Love 151

11 In Sight of the Harbor: Meeting Death without Fear 165

Acknowledgments 185

Notes 189

Bibliography 199

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