Cunningham (theology, U. of Notre Dame) explores Merton’s monastic life and his subsequent growth into a modern-day spiritual master. Starting from Merton’s entrance into the Abbey of Gethsemani in 1941, he highlights the development of Merton’s monastic life against the cultural background of the American experience and the vast upheavals in the Roman Catholic Church, thus showing how his writings and continuing influence can only be understood against the background of his contemplative experience as a Trappist monk. Father Timothy Kelley, the current abbot of the Abbey of Gethsemani and a former novice under Merton, provides a foreword. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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