Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary  -     By: Michael W. Higgins
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Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary

Liturgical Press / 2014 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 120
Vendor: Liturgical Press
Publication Date: 2014
Dimensions: 8.25 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 081463706X
ISBN-13: 9780814637067
Series: People of God

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Publisher's Description

People of God is a brand new series of inspiring biographies for the general reader. Each volume offers a compelling and honest narrative of the life of an important twentieth or twenty-first century Catholic. Some living and some now deceased, each of these women and men have known challenges and weaknesses familiar to most of us, but responded to them in ways that call us to our own forms of heroism. Each of them offers a credible and concrete witness of faith, hope, and love to people of our own day.

Thomas Merton was the consummate post-modern holy one: flawed, anti-institutional, a voice for the voiceless. But he was also a classical traditionalist: centered, obedient, in search of stability. He was a religious thinker of remarkable insight, a social commentator of courage and conviction, and a writer of startling virtuosity. Michael W. Higgins recounts the life of this insatiable wanderer. He explores the various layers of influence and evolution in Merton’s thought and spirituality. This book tells the remarkable story of a life that remains to be understood from its beginnings and long after its premature ending.

Author Bio

Michael W. Higgins is vice-president for Mission and Catholic Identity at Sacred Heart University, past president of St. Jerome’s University in Ontario and St. Thomas University in New Brunswick, a columnist, editor, radio documentarist, and television commentator. He is the author and co-author of numerous books, including Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary (published by Liturgical Press); Power and Peril: The Catholic Church at the Crossroads; Stalking the Holy: In Pursuit of Saint-Making; and Genius Born of Anguish—the Life and Legacy of Henri Nouwen
 

About the Series

People of God is a series of inspiring biographies for the general reader. Each volume offers a compelling and honest narrative of the life of an important twentieth or twenty-first century Catholic. Some living and some now deceased, each of these women and men has known challenges and weaknesses familiar to most of us but responded to them in ways that call us to our own forms of heroism. Each offers a credible and concrete witness of faith, hope, and love to people of our own day.

Editorial Reviews

"Biography has been described as the conversation that those who are living have with their friends, the dead. In Thomas Merton – Faithful Visionary, Michael W. Higgins presents a lively biographical dialogue that is rich, and deep, and instantly engaging. Higgins reminds us that we rarely know even those people who may be familiar to us. In these pages, Higgins removes any superficial image of Merton to present a restless seeker, someone who could never fit easily into a formulaic biographical box. This Merton is complex, remarkably gifted, and deeply human because of his vulnerabilities. The gift of this short biography is the way Michael W. Higgins filters decades of scholarly material about Merton and effortlessly guides readers right to the heart of the matter: Thomas Merton himself, that truly faithful visionary and, through his books, a generous friend to all his readers."
            Kevin Burns, writer and producer, Ottawa


"With the charm of a storyteller, the skill of a fine writer, and the wisdom of a seasoned scholar, Michael Higgins spins a narrative of an exceptional monk’s life and work from conversations, journals, and letters. Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary offers the reader an opportunity to observe how one person sought and discovered an authentic life in Christ that embraced all humanity and addressed the social issues facing the modern world. With the centenary celebration of Merton's birth approaching, this is a timely publication beneficial to both scholars and laypersons."
            Professor David Joseph Belcastro
            President of the International Thomas Merton Society
            Co-Editor of The Merton Annual


"Thomas Merton was a wise, complex, playful, and at times, paradoxical poet-monk. As a public intellectual grounded in Catholic history and theology and accustomed to clarity, Michael W. Higgins lucidly charts Merton’s life from his birth in France to his death in Thailand. Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary admirably envelopes the shifts and swerves in Merton’s layered life in a warm and welcoming conversation."
            J.S. Porter, author of The Thomas Merton Poems and Thomas Merton: Hermit at the Heart of Things


"In this carefully-crafted biographical account of Thomas Merton, the faithful visionary, Michael Higgins combines his scholarly erudition with a palpable enthusiasm for his subject to produce an engaging text that will be well-received by Merton devotees while being simultaneously meaningful to those new to the life and trials of Merton as radical recluse and life-long pilgrim. Indeed, Higgins’ unfolding of a troubled soul on a personal quest will speak very pointedly to generations of those in search of inner peace and personal fulfillment in our turbulent world. Faithful Visionary is dramatic reminder of the timeless wisdom of Augustine’s assertion that ’our hearts are restless until they find rest in thee.’"
            Douglas Letson
            President Emeritus of St. Jerome’s University in Waterloo, Ontario


"Michael Higgins has painted an exuberant, broad-brushed portrait of the ’startling and unusual’ life of a twentieth century spiritual master and visionary. This book is perfect for those new to Thomas Merton, but also provides a well-acquainted reader the pleasure of being reintroduced to the significant highlights of Merton’s legacy by Higgins’ fast-paced, critically insightful and always chiseled prose."
            Jonathan Montaldo, editor, A Year with Thomas Merton


"Michael Higgins' eloquent and lively voice shines in this new lay readers' biography of Thomas Merton, giving novices and scholars a fine summary of Merton's life, including the complexity and irony of its many fascinating episodes. Higgins' animated style and its orator's rhetoric make this volume readable in one sitting, with much to ponder beyond its pages. Once again, Higgins has given us a compelling entrance to Merton which is valuable for its breadth and intriguing for the connections and interpretations it offers in situating Merton in the constellation of political, religious and spiritual thought of which he was an integral part in twentieth century America. Higgins calls on the years of study he has given to Merton in order to give us this accessible and concise account of American's hermit-monk at the center of his culture's history."
Lynn R. Szabo
Professor of English, Trinity Western University, Vancouver

"In Thomas Merton: Faithful Visionary Michael Higgins, who is recognized internationally for his writing on Merton, shows himself to be a master of the art of biography. With acumen and balance he focuses vividly on exactly those issues which a reader of Merton ought to be aware of and to understand."
Ross Labrie, Professor Emeritus, University of British Columbia

"Thomas Merton is the most significant spiritual writer of the twentieth century. His writings are already classics that will have influence well into the twenty-first century and beyond. Michael Higgins captures not only the significance of Merton's life but also his spirit. Thomas Merton was a literary genius and so is Michael Higgins. Merton comes alive in the pages of this beautifully written book that you will find both informative and inspiring."
Anthony Ciorra, PhD
Assistant Vice President for Mission and Catholic identity and Professor of  Theology at Sacred Heart University, Fairfield, Connecticut

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