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THOMAS MERTON by Jennifer Fisher Bryant


Poet, Prophet, Priest

by Jennifer Fisher Bryant

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: May 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-8028-5109-6
Publisher: Eerdmans

 What does it take for a person to begin a spiritual journey? What is the process through which one goes to find meaning in life? In a remarkable biography in the new Men of Spirit series, Bryant (Lucretia Mott, 1996, etc.) addresses these questions to help explicate the life of Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk who recorded his spiritual experiences in his journals and in his autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Merton was born in France in 1915, the child of a New Zealander father and American mother, both professional artists. Bryant makes clear how their examples of individualism and creative thinking were carried on by their son, who had a nomadic, even dissolute youth before zealously converting to Catholicism. The books and poetry borne of his gift for writing connected with others and had a deep impact on people's lives after WW II. Bryant relies too heavily on Monica Furlong's biography, but ably conveys to a younger audience, involved in their own spiritual journeys, the message of Merton. They may come away from this book not only with a real sense of the man and his writings, but courage enough for their present and future struggles as well. (index, not seen, b&w photos, further reading) (Biography. 10-13)