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The twenty-year correspondence between Jean Leclercq, a French Benedictine monk and scholar, and Thomas Merton, an American Cistercian monk, provides a fascinating record of their common yearnings. "What is a monk?" is the question at the center of their exchange, and they answer it with great aplomb, touching on the role of ancient texts and modern conveniences, the advantage of hermit life and community life, the fierce Catholicism of the monastic past and a new openness to the approaches of other traditions. These letters—full of learning, human insight, and self-deprecating humor—capture the excitement of the Catholic Church in the era of the Second Vatican Council.
Patrick Hart, ocso, a native of Green Bay, Wisconsin, did his undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame as a Brother of Holy Cross. He entered the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1951 and has edited many books by and about Thomas Merton.
Recommended for Merton fans and theological libraries.
Catholic Library World
A timely republished book which with the new afterword enables us not only to gain a deeper insight into Merton and Leclercq's dialogue, but also into ecclesial issues about charism and institution which are always around us.
Cistercian Studies Quarterly
A timely republished book which with the new afterword enables us not only to gain a deeper insight into Merton and Leclercq's dialogue, but also into ecclesial issues about charism and institution which are always with us.
This book will appeal primarily to fans of Thomas Merton and historians of post-Vatican II monasticism.
. . . provides a valuable evaluation of the dilemmas of Leclercq and Merton in the light of monks' and nuns' situation in the twenty-first century.
Revue d'Histoire Ecclesiastique
Product number: MW017P
Trim Size: 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Publication Date: 10/01/2008