Charged with training young monks at Gethsemani Abbey, Thomas Merton combined his literary genius and his love of the monastic tradition to produce Monastic Orientation Notes as the bases of his classes. In this volume, he treats the many and varied forms of monastic life which preceded, and helped to form, the Rule of Saint Benedict.Charged with training young monks at Gethsemani Abbey, Thomas Merton combined his literary genius and his love of the monastic tradition to produce Monastic Orientation Notes as the bases of his classes. In this volume, he treats the many and varied forms of monastic life which preceded, and helped to form, the Rule of Saint Benedict.Read Less
New. As Sydney Griffith, a professor at the Catholic University of America, notes in his preface, one of Thomas Merton's most enduring gifts sprang from his ability to read deeply the Church's vast and often difficult literature and render the wisdom he found there in perceptive, modern American English. This is no small task, considering most translations of the French, Italian, and Spanish texts available during Merton's time were stodgy and impenetrable, hardly in keeping with the illuminating spirit of the authors. Pre-Benedictine Monasticism is supplement and sequel to Cassian and the Fathers-both volumes being transcribed and edited copies of Merton's conferences for novices at the Abbey of Gethsemini. Following a copious introduction by Patrick O'Connell, Pre-Benedictine Monasticism canvasses the writings of early monastics in three basic categories: 'fathers' of monasticism Anthony the Great, Pachomius, Basil the Great, and John Cassian; oft-overlooked figures such as Martin of Tours, Shenoute of Atripe, Melania the Younger, and the pilgrim nun Egeria; and the relatively unknown Syriac monastics Ephraem the Syrian, Aphrahat, and Philoxenus of Mabbug. Appendices include textual notes distinguishing between the preliminary draft of Merton's notes and the additions he made before delivering the conferences, a table correlating the written text and taped lectures, and an extensive list of suggestions for further reading. A thorough index rounds out this excellent survey of monastic history and spirituality. 391 pp.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.