cover image Springs of Contemplation

Springs of Contemplation

Thomas Merton. Farrar Straus Giroux, $22 (320pp) ISBN 978-0-374-12893-7

In the post-Vatican II years of 1967 and 1968 Thomas Merton, the renowned Trappist monk, invited a group of contemplative nuns from various communities to meet with him at his abbey in the Kentucky hills. ``A many-voiced silence'' is the thread that winds through Merton's informal, freewheeling conversations during these two conferences as he and the women confront issues that continue to have an impact on the tradition of contemplative life in America. Merton's fraternal bond with his neighboring Sisters of Loretto is reflected in a previously unpublished essay celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of the congregation. Merton's warmth and humor, his full understanding of the limitations of gender-based stereotypes and his inductive approach to teaching are hallmarks of these dialogues that remain widely relevant. The tapes of the meetings have been edited by Richardson, a member of the Sisters of Loretto. (May)