Angelic Mistakes: The Art of Merton (hardcover)

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The Art of Thomas Merton

In the last decade of his life, Thomas Merton created a provocative body of visual art that has remained largely unknown and unexamined. Central to this book are 34 stunning black-and-white prints accompanied by Merton's own writings. Opening and closing chapters study their significance in Merton's personal journey, the turbulence of the times and his wide circle of friends, such as the philosopher Maritain, the poet Milosz and the Zen scholar Suzuki. B&W photos. Hardcover, 197 pages. 8 1/2" X 9"

"This astonishing book looks at an aspect of Merton's life that has been almost ignored."
– Sr. Wendy Beckett

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Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain, has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race.

Merton was born in Prades, France to a New Zealand-born father and an American-born mother, who were both artists. After a rambunctious youth and adolescence, Merton converted to Roman Catholicism and on December 10th, 1941 he entered the Abbey of Gethsemani, a community of monks belonging to the Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance (Trappists).

The twenty-seven years he spent in Gethsemani brought about profound changes in his self-understanding. This ongoing conversion impelled him into the political arena, where he became a prominent voice in the peace movement of the 1960s. Referring to race and peace as the two most urgent issues of our time, Merton was a strong supporter of the nonviolent civil rights movement, which he called "certainly the greatest example of Christian faith in action in the social history of the United States." For his social activism Merton endured severe criticism, from Catholics and non-Catholics alike, who assailed his political writings as unbecoming of a monk.

During his last years, he became deeply interested in Asian religions, particularly Zen Buddhism, and in promoting East-West dialogue. It was during a trip to a conference on East-West monastic dialogue that Merton died, in Bangkok on December 10, 1968, the victim of an accidental electrocution.
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3 reviews

Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon May 3, 2016  |  By Phyllis S.
Phyllis S.

Angelic Mistakes
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Jan 3, 2016  |  By Barbara S.
Loved it so much we gave seven to friends for Christmas
Barbara S.

Angelic Mistakes Merton
Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Review star icon Oct 9, 2015  |  By Barbara S.
It is a wonderful addition to my Merton books.
Barbara S.