Thomas Merton: Prophet & Guide for the 21st Centry

Tuesdays, October 8, October 22, and November 5, 7:00 - 9:00 pm

This three-part mini-course on the life and writings of the 20th-century Trappist monk Thomas Merton will discuss key aspects of his work as they apply to ordinary people today, of whatever spiritual persuasion.

Focusing on the rich harmony his life expressed, reflected in his Celtic love of nature and strong sense of social responsibility, this course will be divided into three sessions, with participants reading, if possible, certain books that relate to each topic (See below).  Each evening will consist of a presentation, open discussion (based upon input from the books), and short DVD selections.

Session 1 - October 8: Merton's Early Life, Conversion, and Becoming a Spiritual Writer
Read his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain

Session 2 - October 22: Merton's Ideas on Prayer and Social Action
Read Contemplative Prayer with the Introduction by Thich Nhat Hanh and/or Merton's journal, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

Session 3 - November 5: Merton's Dialogue with Asian Religions, especially Buddhism
Read The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton


Ed Sellner, Ph.D., is a professor of theology and spirituality at Saint Catherine University, where he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses and administered various departmental programs for over thirty years.

Ed is also a popular national and international speaker and author whose most recent titles are Finding the Monk Within and The Double: Male Eros, Friendships and Mentoringfrom Gilgamesh to Jack Kerouac. Now at work on a book on Buddhism in the lives and writings of Thomas Merton and Jack Kerouac, he recently found the Bangkok, Thailand, cottage where Merton died forty-five years ago this December.

WHEN: Tuesdays, October 8, October 22, and November 5, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

COST: $90 for the series. Must attend as a series.