Original Research - Special Collection: Holiness

Thomas Merton: The true self and the quest for justice

Susan Rakoczy
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 4 | a3447 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i4.3447 | © 2016 Susan Rakoczy | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 April 2016 | Published: 02 December 2016

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Susan Rakoczy, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

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The year 2015 marked the 100th anniversary of the birth of Thomas Merton who was born on31 January 1915. His writings cover diverse themes, which are of value to a myriad of faithtraditions. This article will trace his understanding of holiness and the way in which Mertonemphasised participation in the transformation of the world. It commences with a biographicaloverview of Merton and then Merton’s understanding of ‘holiness’ as growth of the ‘true self’in God is discussed. His work as social critic is outlined and the article ends with a reflectionof Merton’s understanding of ‘love’ and ‘compassion’ – a life before God.


Thomas Merton; 100th anniversary


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