Matthew Fox leads a new intensive on the mysticism of Thomas Merton at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was one of the great spiritual writers and mystic-prophets of the twentieth century. From the time of his conversion at the shrine of the Black Madonna in Cuba in 1940 to his untimely martyrdom in Bangkok for opposing the war in Vietnam in 1968, his spirituality evolved profoundly. He journeyed deeply from being very much a dualistic monk from 1940-1957 to being a prophetic leader leading out a creation spirituality path under the influence of Zen master D.T. Suzuki and Meister Eckhart beginning in 1958.
His prophetic voice addressed issues of Ecology, Feminism, Racism, the rights and oppression of indigenous peoples, Technology’s excess, War (he coached the Berrigan brothers among others in non-violent resistance), Peace, bogus religion (he called the marriage of fundamentalism and empire the “greatest orgy of idolatry the world has ever seen”). He offered medicines to heal us including Deep Ecumenism (his close friendship with the Dalai Lama and Thich Naht Hanh are well known), a theology of the Cosmic Christ (“How is it possible to tell everyone they are walking around shining like the sun?” he asked following on a mystical experience at lunch time rush hour in downtown Louisville) and the cultivation of contemplation.
In this class we will explore the depth teachings of this man around contemplation and action, mysticism and prophecy and what he is telling us today about our spiritual vocations including cultural criticism.