Merging Inner and Outer Landscapes

SSJ Monica Weis

in The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780813130040
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135717 | DOI:
Merging Inner and Outer Landscapes

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This chapter focuses on Thomas Merton's inner and outer landscapes, investigating how love of nature overflowed into prayer; how prayer often expanded into celebration of nature; and how frequently, in his years of more intense solitude, inner and outer landscapes intertwined and merged into a new awareness that underpinned his poetry and his fascination with photography, and which prepared Merton for discovering his responsibility for justice for creation. In general, it explores some of the journal entries that witness the transformative process in action and discover how overwhelmingly influential nature is in Merton's spirituality and, indeed, in his full human development. Merton's poetry always moves beyond cursory lyrical imagery and traditional religious devotion to embody his experience of prayer. It specifically addresses “Fire Watch, July 4, 1952” and “Hagia Sophia”.

Keywords: Thomas Merton; prayer; poetry; photography; inner and outer landscapes; nature

Chapter.  12143 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: History of the Americas

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