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December 3rd, 2012

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12:12 pm - Thomas Merton--what should I read first?
Hey, flist--I know many of you read or have read theology, so I am hopeful that you can provide me with good ideas:

I'm putting together 2013's List of Ten Books to Read, and I would like to finally read one of Thomas Merton's works. Does anyone have recommendations as to which book or collection I should start with? I am familiar with some of his thought by osmosis, but have never read anything he's written.

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Date:December 3rd, 2012 11:33 pm (UTC)
It would depend upon which Thomas Merton you would like to read. His earlier works are very Orthodox Catholic theology; he thinking expands and broadens as he gets older until he is quite far to the left by the time he dies in Asia.

His autobiography, Seven Storey Mountain (Yes, that IS how it's spelled) will give you a sense of where he came from and takes you to his ordination.

Seeds of Contemplation is a good introduction to his earlier work.

Asian Journal is, I think, one of his last books. There are those Catholics who feared that he was too enamored by Buddhism and might be ready to leave the Catholic Church. I don't think so. I think he was curious, open and willing to learn and grow.

Enjoy, and do let us know which one you picked, and what you think of it after you have read it.

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Date:December 4th, 2012 04:47 pm (UTC)
I will probably read a spectrum of his work eventually. Thank you, this was helpful--I think I'll start with one of his early works this year.

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