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By Paul R. Dekar / Cascade / 2011
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Thomas Merton was arguably the twentieth century’s most widely published and widely read spiritual writer. This book explores Merton’s prophetic writings and experiences as they offer guidance for spiritual seekers searching to experience God, to simplify their lives, to live more humanly, and to shape Christian community in the face of alienation, consumerism, noise, and technology. The book includes parts of three previously unpublished conference contributions by Merton on technology.
In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Scripture citations link directly to English translations, and important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.
Paul Dekar presents us in this book with a manifesto for the future of the Christian community, which he sees being renewed by intentional, contemplative, essentially lay communities that know how to connect classic monastic wisdom with the challenges of our addicted-conflicted culture. He tells us with real passion that we don’t need to fight old battles, but instead need to focus on God’s future. The chapter on Merton and technology is alone worth the price of the book. Warmly recommended, especially to Christians discouraged with the institutional church.
—Donald Grayston, former president, International Thomas Merton Society
Paul Dekar’s book is a thoughtful and comprehensive summary of Merton’s concerns about our world—ranging from ecological consciousness, war, nonviolence, and technology to new monasticism and a dialogue with other faiths. It is a timely book offering real guidance. Thomas Merton’s diagnosis of the ills of our time is speaking powerfully still: ‘achievement neurosis,’ overspending, overwork, noise, violence, addiction to technology, and an individualism that has lost sight of the common good. The way forward? Creating ‘communities of love’ in which God’s presence and the depth of our humanity—which we consistently ignore—are experienced, and where the balance between the inner and the outer life can be restored.
—Miriam Michael Volpe, sister, Community of the Transfiguration
Paul R. Dekar is Niswonger Professor of Evangelism and Missions, Memphis Theological Seminary. He is author of Creating the Beloved Community: A History of the Fellowship of Reconciliation in the United States and Holy Boldness: Practices of an Evangelistic Lifestyle. He and his wife, Nancy, are North American members of Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Australia.