Rim of Chaos:
Thomas Merton’s Prophetic Vision.
The Fifth Conference of the Thomas Merton Society of Great
Britain & Ireland took place in Birmingham in June 2004. In that time before the
Asian tsunami, before the London bombings, before hurricanes Katrina and Rita
and Stan, before news of the Niger food crisis filtered through, before the
earthquake which devastated Pakistan and her neighbours, there was a different
range of crises on the public horizon, not least the enduring chaos of
destabilization in Iraq.
We had chosen with our conference theme to engage with the wider effects of these (perhaps virtual, always critical) realities pressing in on us continually. Not the effects experienced by the victims, the bereaved and damaged, frightened and displaced people of so many catastrophes; but rather the effects upon those of us who profess faith and seek understanding, perhaps as ‘guilty bystanders’ in Merton’s terms. Drawing upon the resources of our faith, via Merton, we sought a perspective and a language, an orientation and practical hope in such a world.
We are delighted to be make available this latest book from TMS-GB&I, a collection of papers which each begin as a response to the perceived challenges that face humanity together, and which draw deeply from the works of Merton and from the springs of contemplation.