Passion for Peace

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Passion for Peace

Reflections on War and Nonviolence

A call to take up the work of God and bring peace to our own lives and to the world, Mertons’s essays continue to speak powerfully about ways that people can contribute to right the wrongs in society.

Thomas Merton discovered that at the heart of contemplation there is a sense of being deeply connected to the world around us. The experience of loving union with God and others inspired Merton to work radically and devotedly to end war, racial hatred, and violence.

This new and revised version of Passion for Peace shares some of Merton’s important writing from the early 1960s, the period when he first began advocating to end wars and violence. William H. Shannon’s introduction contextualizes Merton’s strivings and shows the incredible sense of responsibility that the monk brought to his work. Although rooted in the cold war conflict, Merton’s thoughts apply directly to the genocide, terror, and civil and international wars that run rampant in our times.

Topics and people discussed include nuclear proliferation, fear as the root of war, nonviolent resistance, Gandhi, the Vietnam War, Thich Nhat Hanh, Auschwitz, the nature of violence, and Christian responsibility.

Reviews and endorsements

"The book Passion for Peace is an abridgement of Passion for Peace: The Social Essays by Thomas Merton, originally published in 1995. Most of the essays were written by Merton in the early 1960s. It was in those years that Merton realized the contemplative life of a Christian monk is not meant to center on an individual‘s spiritual state, but, instead, is meant to be focused on the larger, contemporary concerns of the world.

Merton writes on people as diverse as Adolf Eichmann, Mohandas Gandhi and Thich Nhat Hanh and places as far-flung as Auschwitz and Vietnam. We hear the more mature voice of Merton, who had by this time rejected the religious romanticism of his younger years, but his eloquence and faith remain undiminished."
Graham Yearley, Catholic News Service

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“We could ask for no better mentor and guide than Thomas Merton.”
San Francisco Chronicle


9780824524159
Paperback / 176 pages
Dimensions: 5 1/8 x 7 1/2
CROSSROAD, 2006