"The peculiar grace of a Shaker chair is due to the fact that it was made by someone capable of believing that an angel might come to sit on it," wrote Merton, who admired how the Shakers approached work as a form of worship, lived in community, practiced simplicity, and espoused non-violence. 40 black-and-white photos. 128 pages, softcover. Orbis.
In these essays, talks, and a stunning selection of his own photographs, Thomas Merton hauntingly evokes the spirituality of a uniquely American sect. Largely remembered today for a legacy of extraordinary craftsmanship, the Shakers espoused a way of life, as Merton shows, with surprising relevance for today. In their approach to work as a form of worship, in their practice of community, their simplicity and rejection of violence, and their profound witness to the Kingdom of God, Merton finds lessons for all Christians. In the Shakers' prophetic departure from the American myth of progress, efficiency, and individualism, he finds a message of enduring value for our time.