Ideas That Matter: The Life And Legacy Of Thomas Merton with Lawrence Cunningham & Brother Patrick Hart

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A gifted and complex man, the late Thomas Merton is considered by many to be a pivotal figure in 20th-century writing and spirituality. A Trappist monk, Merton was a voracious reader, prolific writer, great music lover (especially of jazz), and a social activist who believed there was more to the contemplative life than "simply denying oneself." Above all else, Merton was a seeker of truth in all its forms, who believed that "the important thing is the quality of your life - how you live and how you share it with other people." (hosted by Mark Walstrom)


Join Brother Patrick Hart, Merton's last secretary and friend, and Lawrence Cunningham, professor and chair of the Theology Department of Notre Dame University, as they relive their memories of Merton.

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What were the Dalai Lama's thoughts on meeting Merton
  • Why the spiritual legacy of Thomas Merton is important
  • What is the distinction between true and false selves
  • What we are all seeking in religion
  • Why Merton, a Christian, embraced all religious truth
  • How Merton broke with traditional Trappist practices

Host: Mark Walstrom          Interview Date: 9/30/1997          Program Number: F503