“Redeeming the Rhinoceros: Thomas Merton’s Monastic Option”

SATURDAY, April 22

Join us as Dr. Paul Pearson examines Merton’s changing relationship to the world as he moved from the world denying monk of the forties and early fifties to the world embracing monk of the final decade of his life. Merton found that the "night spirit and the dawn air," central to his monastic calling, were his way of "redeeming the rhinoceros", a sign of modern humanity caught in a technological stampede to nowhere, and symbolized for Merton by the sound of the guns from nearby Fort Knox.

photo credit:   Jessica Ebelhar

photo credit: Jessica Ebelhar

Paul M. Pearson is Director and Archivist of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky and Chief of Research for the Merton Legacy Trust. He is Resident Secretary of the International Thomas Merton Society, served as President for the 10th administration (2005-2007), program chair for the 11th ITMS conference held in Rochester in June 2009, treasurer for the Society (2007-2013) and was site coordinator for the 2015 conference celebrating the centenary of Merton’s birth. He completed his Ph.D. in theology with a dissertation on Merton at Heythrop College, University of London.

Paul is a founding member and first secretary of the Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland. Seeking Paradise: Thomas Merton and the Shakers, was published by Orbis in the fall of 2003 (reissued in paperback 2011).  Most recently he published Thomas Merton on Christian Contemplation (New Directions, 2012). In 1999 he was awarded a “Louie” by the ITMS for his contribution on an international level to the promotion of Merton’s writings and to the presentation of his ideas. He received the 2010 John Brubaker Memorial Award of the Catholic Library Association, and Bellarmine University’s Hidden Wholeness Award for International Unity and Diversity in 2011.

Dr. Paul Pearson’s Books for Sale:

  • Seeking Paradise
  • On Christian Contemplation


Time: 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. We invite you to mingle afterwards to enjoy drinks and snacks with our guest speakers and other friends of Merton.

Location: Corpus Christi Church, 529 West 121st Street just off Broadway, NYC (directions)

Cost: Free for Members & Students; $20 for Non-Members (or similar) 
NB: Members will need to renew their annual membership for the new 2016/17 season before registering for this event.  To do so, please go to  Membership and register for your desired membership level. Then return here to register for this event.

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