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Title: Thomas Merton’s "Theology of Resistance" : towards a political interpretation of his contemplative spirituality
Author: Berry , Judith Elizabeth
Awarding Body: King's College London (University of London)
Current Institution: King's College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1998
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Abstract:
This thesis is an exploration of what the monk, Thomas Merton OCSO, (1915-68) called his "theology of resistance". Its purpose is to establish that this theology was a politically as well as a spiritually inspired critique of America in the modem era, and to illustrate the coherent development of Merton's contemplative spirituality and political commitment. As an extension of this discussion I have argued in this thesis that Thomas Merton should be seen as a politically active contemplative as opposed to a social critic and a somewhat passive critic at that. It is the aim of this thesis to argue that the full implications of Merton's "theology of resistance" have not been fully understood; and that Merton commentators and scholars have overlooked the core issues of marginality and protest in his work. Central to this thesis, then, is the suggestion that Merton's "theology of resistance" was a "revolutionary" synthesis of monastic protest and contemplative marginality. A synthesis which enabled the contemplative to place himself on the margins of society, but in solidarity with all other marginal groups and people. What I am suggesting is that Merton's "theology of resistance" was the culmination of a contemplatively inspired political consciousness, an attempt to grapple with the radical and transformative potential of the marginal, the dispossessed, the peripheral, the monk.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.566682  DOI: Not available
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