The Merton Annual Volume 29 – Thin Places and Thick Descriptions
“Thomas Merton mindfully inhabited an exceptionally thin world. He seemed especially attuned to the omnipresence of the normally imperceptible. However common this aesthetic sensibility may in fact be in the general population, the gift for communicating it is rare. Merton unquestionably had that gift. He wrote with what Flannery O’Connor would likely describe as the “Hebrew genius for making the absolute concrete.” His thick descriptions of particular places and moments narrow the distance between heaven and earth, or perhaps simply unmask a once hidden but always present wholeness. … Merton can be described as a master of thick description and one adept at recognizing thin places; but what about the rest of us for whom, of late, places have seemed thick and descriptions very thin? Faith assures that whatever cruelties we foist upon one another, Sophia will not be made a prisoner. She continues to play in creation. Let us hope that the essays that follow help to unmask for us the world’s thinness and reveal that eternal dance, the hidden wholeness that cannot be directly seen, or touched, or put in a genus, or distinguished by a difference, yet is present.” Click here to read the full description by Joseph Quinn Rabb
The Merton Annual publishes articles about Thomas Merton and about related matters of major concern to his life and work. Its purpose is to enhance Merton’s reputation as a writer and monk, to continue to develop his message for our times, and to provide a regular outlet for substantial Merton-related scholarship. The Merton Annual includes as regular features, reviews, review-essays, a bibliographic survey, interviews, and first appearances of unpublished or obscurely published Merton materials, photographs and art. Essays about related literary and spiritual matters will also be considered.