Beyond the Shadow and the Disguise

 “...I know and have seen what I was obscurely looking for. I don’t know what else remains but I have now seen and have pierced through the surface and have got beyond the shadow and the disguise.”

 So wrote Thomas Merton after visiting the reclining Buddhas at Polonnaruwa in Sri Lanka on December 1st 1968, only nine days before his death.

 “The words of Merton’s description and their unforeseen and unforeseeable relevance to what was to come, proved at once a challenge and a stimulus to our three keynote speakers. I was not alone in feeling that their presentations gave us unusually valuable assessments of many of the themes which lie at the heart of Merton’s life and activity, as a monk and a hermit, as a poet and a writer, and as a commentator on some of the deepest themes of the twentieth and twenty-first century. These essays provide three different ways of approaching this topic but they complement each other in a remarkable way.” 

From the Foreword by A.M. Allchin.

Conference papers presented at the Sixth General Meeting of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland
held at Oakham School, Oakham from March 31 - April 2, 2008.

Various conference papers from the Sixth General Meeting were subsequently published in editions of The Merton Journal and other places.

Main Conference Addresses:

Canon A. M. Allchin - "Foreword."

Kathleen Deignan - "Within the Shadow and the Disguise: Thomas Merton’s Sacramental Vision."

Paul M. Pearson - "Beyond the Shadow and the Disguise: Thomas Merton’s Embrace of Logos."

Monica Weiss - "The Birds Ask: ‘Is it Time to Be?’: Thomas Merton’s Moments of Spiritual Awakening."

Concurrent Session Papers:

William Apel - "There Comes a Time: The Inter-faith Letters of Thomas Merton and Dona Luisa Coomaraswamy."

Ann-Taylor Cahill  - "Merton in the Marketplace."

Sean Cathie - "Broken Identities and Signals of Transcendence in a Secular Dialogue."

Larry Culliford - "Merton, Christianity, Buddhism and Me: With Reference to Shantideva."

Joanne Flynn - "Silence in an Interfaith Land: A Presentation and Led Meditation."

Jim Hartz - "The Radicalization of St. Paul - In Merton's Last Words: Cutting Through the Warfare of 'This' vs 'That'."

Fred and Michael Herron - "A World-embracing Prophet: Towards a Theological and Spiritual Vision for Millenials."

Judith Hunter - "The Mim Tea Estate, the Kandy Express and Polonnaruwa."

Gosia Poks - "The Late Poetry of Thomas Merton."

David Scott - "Thomas Merton and Etty Hillesum - The Most Public of Diaries."

Elizabeth Smith - "Centering Prayer Method, As Taught by Fr. Thomas Keating, OCSO."

Robert Waldron - "Thomas Merton's Prufrockian Moment Transcended: A Journey Towards Love."

Go to the Thomas Merton Society Publications Page