Thomas Merton was a man of contradictions: assertive yet elusive, committed to the stability of the monastic life but a wanderer at heart, a man who came to symbolize in a unique way his country and century. Still today, perhaps more than ever, he fascinates us with his spiritual genius and brilliant insights into the heart and soul of humankind. Merton’s life was a search on many levels and, as such, it offers readers guidance on their own spiritual quests.
The Spiritual Genius of Thomas Merton is a blend of literary and theological appreciation that is critical in the best sense and always relevant. Through an analysis of Merton’s major journal and poetic writings, Padovano gives us an original and fresh look at Merton’s reconciliation between his inner nature and the life he chose to live. Merton reached out to an astonishing variety of people, indelibly affecting the character of his times, an effect that is present even today.
First published in 1982 as The Human Journey: Thomas Merton, Symbol of a Century, Padovano’s book has been critically acclaimed as “a wonderful glimpse of Merton” and “a skillful blend of literary analysis and biography.” Now updated for a new generation of readers, this new edition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Merton (January 31, 2015).
Anthony T. Padovano is a professor of literature and philosophy at Ramapo College in New Jersey. He is the author of twenty-nine books including three award-winning plays, translated into nine languages, and has been visiting professor at twenty-five American colleges and universities. Padovano is the author of A Retreat with Thomas Merton: Biography as Spiritual Journey. His recent books include Resistance and Renewal, a series of essays on the human family, and A Path to Freedom.