“What We Have to Be Is What We Are”: Re-Discovering an Ontology of Unity in The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton

David Torevell

DOI: https://dx.doi.org/


I argue in this article that due to its unique composition and structure,The Asian Journal of Thomas Merton offers readers an opportunityto take part in the monastic tradition of lectio divina. Such meditativereading of the text, besides giving a glimpse into Merton’s insights aboutinterfaith living and how monastic identity encourages such a pursuit,also offers the reader an opportunity to reflect on the ontology of unityat the heart of his contemplative theology. I thus wish to suggest thatthe “ground of openness” that Merton names and exhorts in his workis not simply confined to monastics. My claim is that anyone who hasthe confidence to read his journal as lectio divina might also come toexperience a leaning towards such unity and openness.

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