‘Merton still matters’, writes Paul R. Dekar about Cistercian monk Thomas Merton. Calling people to act justly, love kindness and walk humbly, Merton used his contemplative practice to see beyond what disrupts and divides us from one another to find the truth of our common humanity – unity in our creation in the image of God. In Thomas Merton and the New World, Dekar focuses primarily on two issues of concern to our current world. First, he studies Merton’s warnings of the abuse that stems from unmindful and irresponsible use of technology, and its ecological devastation. Second, he examines Merton’s thinking on racial injustice in the mid-1960s through his correspondence with his allies and contemporaries – James Baldwin, for example.
Using Micah 6:8 to arrange Merton’s focus on justice, lovingkindness, and humility, with input from Merton’s dialogue with Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Rachel Carson and others, Dekar demonstrates just how prophetic and transferable Merton’s teachings remain.