Merton & Confucianism: Rites, Righteousness and Integral Humanity (The Fons Vitae Thomas Merton Series) (Paperback)
This eighth volume of the acclaimed Fons Vitae Thomas Merton Series is a compendium of all relevant material for a thorough consideration of Merton’s knowledge and appreciation of the Confucian tradition. The first of its two sections provides extensively annotated versions of the three distinct resources for investigating Merton’s engagement with Confucianism in the context of his wider studies of East Asian spiritual traditions: his correspondence with Chinese-American scholar Paul Sih; his extensive notes on Confucian and related material; and transcriptions of the five conferences given to young prospective monks on the pertinence of Confucian wisdom to their own spiritual development. Part two gathers together five previously published studies exploring Merton’s interest in Confucian and (in one case) related Chinese traditions that provide various perspectives on Merton’s engagement with what he calls “Classic Chinese Thought." It is hoped that making these materials on Confucianism much more readily accessible will stimulate and encourage further research and publication on this fascinating but hitherto somewhat neglected aspect of his interreligious thought.
About the Author
Patrick F O'Connell received doctoral degrees in English literature from Yale University (1978), and in theology from Fordham University, (New York, 1985). A founding member and past president of the International Thomas Merton Society, O’Connell has spoken to audiences throughout North America, Great Britain, and Ireland on Merton and his work. In addition to over fifty published articles on the topic, he has served as an editor of numerous Merton volumes, including his monastic conferences.
“It has been my good fortune to participate in a prestigious circle of Merton scholars of whom Dr. Patrick O’Connell is, in my estimation, the most eminent. No one has his range and depth of knowledge of the extensive and rich Merton corpus, and no one has made it more accessible, particularly in the compendious work, The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia, which bears the mark of his singular scholarship. As an interpreter of Merton’s poetic and literary legacy, in particular, Dr. O’Connell’s contributions are peerless: his publications allow Merton’s timeless voice to continue resounding into a new century. We are especially grateful for his wise and faithful leadership and presence as one of the founding members and past president of the International Thomas Merton Society which owes much of its success to his ongoing commitment” —Kathleen Deignan, CND, Founder and Director: Iona Spirituality Institute, Past President, International Thomas Merton Society
“I have been involved in Merton studies for over twenty years and consider Dr. O’Connell’s work, including but not confined to his analysis of Merton’s poetry, commensurate with that of the most thorough and careful among Merton scholars. Likewise, there are perhaps only a few students of Merton who are as knowledgeable about his work and attendant scholarship as Dr. O’Connell” —Thomas Del Prete, Chair, Department of Education, Clark University, Author: Thomas Merton & the Education of the Whole Person
“Dr. Patrick O’Connell is an expert in Thomas Merton studies, having spent many years lecturing and writing on Thomas Merton, his life and writings. I consider him one of the ablest of Merton interpreters living today” —Brother Patrick Hart, OCSO, Last Secretary to Thomas Merton, General Editor: The Merton Journals
“Professor Patrick O’Connell is an eminent American literary scholar and, as well, a first-class researcher on the subject of Thomas Merton and related matters. He is simply one of the most knowledgeable scholars working today in the area of Merton Studies. He has also done excellent work for the International Thomas Merton Society. His current work as editor of The Merton Seasonal is superb” —Victor A. Kramer, Georgia State University (ret’d), Former Editor: The Merton Annual
“When in recent years I set about writing books about Catholic American literature and about Thomas Merton, Patrick O’Connell is someone whose essays on Merton were of very great help to me. His great contribution is that he combines a thorough knowledge of both theology and literature. He writes with a meticulous eye for detail and yet with a discerning sense of underlying themes and designs. Furthermore, having seen him present a few of his scholarly papers at conferences, I can say without hesitation that he is an excellent lecturer” —Ross Labrie, University of British Columbia (ret’d), Author: The Catholic Tradition in American Literature
“Dr. Patrick F. O’Connell’s scholarship with regard to the life and legacy of Thomas Merton has few peers. He is a careful, energetic researcher, a gifted teacher and his command of the entire Merton corpus is extraordinary. As the Director of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University, the official repository of Merton’s work that archives forty thousand items, I continuously relied on Dr. O’Connell’s scholarship to aid me in my duties. I can give no scholar and teacher of Thomas Merton a higher recommendation than that I accord here to Patrick F. O’Connell” —Jonathan Montaldo, Former Director, Thomas Merton Center, Editor: The Intimate Merton