The Chicago Chapter of the International Thomas Merton Society offers a series of Sunday afternoon programs, the next on Sunday January 21. All of the Merton Society presentations take place on Sundays at 2 p.m. in the Rectory Assembly of Immaculate Conception Parish, 7211 W. Talcott, Chicago. Signs with arrows indicating “Merton Lecture” will be posted.
No special reading or background is required for any of the Merton Society events, which are open to the public. Admission is a freewill offering. Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Mike Brennan at 773-447-3989. RSVPs to firstname.lastname@example.org are welcome, but not required.
On January 21, the Merton Society will present noted author and retreatmaster Dan Horan, OFM, of Catholic Theological Union, who will discuss “Thomas Merton on Structural Racism and White Supremacy in the United States.”
Although Thomas Merton is best known for his writings on the spiritual life, in this presentation, Fr. Horan will explore the work of Thomas Merton that speaks to some of the challenging issues of our contemporary time. As has been well documented, Merton’s own experience of ongoing conversion led to a transformative experience that is oftentimes called his “turning to the world” beyond that of the interior life of prayer in the late 1950s and continuing until his death in 1968. While Merton’s writing and correspondence during this period of his life on themes related to non-violence and war, interreligious dialogue and ecumenism have garnered scholarly interest in recent decades, less attention has been paid to the monk’s writings on structural racism and white supremacy, particularly as these realities are related to one’s spirituality and life of faith. This presentation will explore the distinctive contributions Merton makes to Christian spirituality from the perspective of his writings on structural racism and white supremacy in the United States.
Daniel P. Horan, OFM, is a Franciscan friar of Holy Name Province (NY), assistant professor of systematic theology and spirituality at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, and the author of several books including the award-winning The Franciscan Heart of Thomas Merton: A New Look at the Spiritual Influence on his Life, Thought, and Writing (2014). His latest book is titled, God Is Not Fair and other Reasons for Gratitude (2016). His next book, All God’s Creatures: A Theology of Creation is due out with Lexington Books/Fortress Academic in May 2018. He is the author of more than 120 popular and scholarly articles; is a frequent lecturer and retreat director around the United States, Canada, and Europe; and has previously taught at Siena College, St. Bonaventure University, and in the School of Theology and Ministry of Boston College. For more information, visit www.DanHoran.com