In this unusual and evocative book, the famous monk evokes the Shaker spirit and its message of simplicity and peace of heart in writings and photographs together in print for the first time.
Could the spirituality of the American Shakers, long known for their extraordinary crafts, have any relevance for seekers today? The question fascinated Thomas Merton, who sensed surprising analogies between the Shakers and his own Trappist monastic tradition.
Here, essays, talks, and letters, along with a selection of Mertons own photographs of a Shaker village near the Abbey of Gethsemane, present a haunting evocation of a lost tradition.
In the Shakers approach to work as a form of worship, in their practice of community, their simplicity and rejection of violence, and their profound witness to the Kingdom of God, Merton found lessons for all Christians. In their prophetic departure from the American myth of progress, efficiency, and individualism, he found a message of enduring value and relevance for our time.
Thomas Merton (1915-1968) was a Trappist monk, writer and activist for peace and civil rights. Merton’s works have had a profound impact on contemporary religious and philosophical thought.