Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Author photo. Thomas Merton in Pictures

From the archives of the Thomas Merton Center.
Used with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust.

Thomas Merton in Pictures From the archives of the Thomas Merton Center. Used with permission of the Merton Legacy Trust.

MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
28,752 (36,926)355592 (3.97)840
Born in France, Thomas Merton was the son of an American artist and poet and her New Zealander husband, a painter. Merton lost both parents before he had finished high school, and his younger brother was killed in World War II. Something of the ephemeral character of human endeavor marked all his works, deepening the pathos of his writings and drawing him close to Eastern, especially Buddhist, forms of monasticism. After an initial education in the United States, France, and England, he completed his undergraduate degree at Columbia University. His parents, nominally friends, had given him little religious guidance, and in 1938, he converted to Roman Catholicism. The following year he received an M.A. from Columbia University and in 1941, he entered Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky, where he remained until a short time before his death. His working life was spent as a Trappist monk. At Gethsemani, he wrote his famous autobiography, "The Seven Storey Mountain" (1948); there he labored and prayed through the days and years of a constant regimen that began with daily prayer at 2:00 a.m. As his contemplative life developed, he still maintained contact with the outside world, his many books and articles increasing steadily as the years went by. Reading them, it is hard to think of him as only a "guilty bystander," to use the title of one of his many collections of essays. He was vehement in his opposition to the Vietnam War, to the nuclear arms race, to racial oppression. Having received permission to leave his monastery, he went on a journey to confer with mystics of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions. He was accidentally electrocuted in a hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, on December 10, 1968. (Bowker Author Biography)
— biography from The Seven Storey Mountain
… (more)
The Seven Storey Mountain 4,119 copies, 52 reviews
New Seeds of Contemplation 1,959 copies, 14 reviews
No Man Is an Island 1,900 copies, 18 reviews
Contemplative Prayer 1,243 copies, 9 reviews
Thoughts In Solitude 1,079 copies, 8 reviews
The Way of Chuang Tzu 982 copies, 12 reviews
Zen and the Birds of Appetite 675 copies, 10 reviews
The Sign of Jonas 610 copies, 9 reviews
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander 594 copies, 7 reviews
Life and Holiness 559 copies, 5 reviews
Mystics and Zen Masters 495 copies, 4 reviews
The Ascent to Truth 440 copies, 2 reviews
Seeds of Contemplation 405 copies, 4 reviews
The Waters Of Siloe 373 copies, 3 reviews
Bread in the Wilderness 371 copies, 5 reviews
The New Man 353 copies, 4 reviews
Praying the Psalms 347 copies, 4 reviews
A Book of Hours 332 copies, 5 reviews
Love and Living 314 copies, 1 review
The Silent Life 289 copies, 2 reviews
Opening the Bible 276 copies, 2 reviews
Disputed Questions 276 copies, 2 reviews
The Living Bread 242 copies, 2 reviews
Raids on the Unspeakable 226 copies, 4 reviews
The Monastic Journey 208 copies, 1 review
Seasons of celebration 141 copies, 3 reviews
What Is Contemplation? 124 copies, 4 reviews
Seeds 122 copies
Seeds of Destruction 111 copies, 1 review
The Nonviolent Alternative 102 copies, 1 review
He Is Risen 95 copies, 1 review
A Catch of Anti-Letters 37 copies, 1 review
Cistercian life 17 copies
REDEEMING THE TIME 17 copies, 1 review
Silence, Joy 10 copies
Szukanie Boga 5 copies
Journal d'asie 5 copies, 1 review
Vida i santedat 3 copies, 3 reviews
Thirty poems 3 copies
Listy 3 copies
MONK AND POET 2 copies
Merton 2 copies
The Thomas Merton Studies Center (Volume One) (Contributor, some editions) 2 copies
Il monaco 1 copy
Paz na era pós-cristã 1 copy, 1 review
Silence 1 copy
Semences de destruction 1 copy, 1 review
O Homem Novo 1 copy, 1 review
Duh 1 copy
Love 1 copy
Pasternak 1 copy
Concerning the City of God against the Pagans (Introduction, some editions) 5,381 copies, 33 reviews
Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas (Contributor) 622 copies, 9 reviews
The Portable Sixties Reader (Contributor) 299 copies, 3 reviews
American Religious Poems: An Anthology (Contributor) 138 copies, 1 review
Belief: Readings on the Reason for Faith (Contributor) 115 copies, 2 reviews
Saints for Now (Contributor) 88 copies
Vietnam: Lotus in a Sea of Fire (Foreword, some editions) 70 copies, 2 reviews
The Prison Meditations of Father Delp (Introduction, some editions) 55 copies
Counsels of Light and Love (Introduction) 43 copies
Elsewhere (Poets in the World) (Translator, some editions) 24 copies, 1 review
No more strangers (Introduction) 20 copies
Clement of Alexandria Selections from the Protreptikos (Essay, some editions; Translator, some editions) 10 copies
Merton [1984 film] (Featured) 10 copies
Non-violence and the Christian conscience (Preface, some editions) 8 copies
The Analog Sea Review: Number One (Contributor) 7 copies
Mansions of the Spirit (Introduction, some editions) 7 copies
The Jaguar and the Moon (Translator, some editions) 7 copies
Stroker anthology, 1974-1994 (Contributor) 6 copies
The Analog Sea Review: Number Two (Contributor) 4 copies

Top members (works)

Member favorites

anthology (149) Apologetics (121) Augustine (224) autobiography (426) biography (509) Buddhism (158) Catholic (526) Catholicism (518) Christian (368) Christian living (137) Christianity (1,342) Cistercians (133) classics (120) contemplation (364) Devotional (119) essays (143) faith (104) history (198) journal (191) meditation (333) Meditations (139) memoir (240) Merton (1,211) monasticism (725) mysticism (308) non-fiction (745) Patristics (121) philosophy (736) poetry (534) prayer (655) religion (2,162) spiritual life (243) spirituality (2,162) Taoism (153) Theology (1,286) Thomas Merton (918) to-read (753) Trappist (121) Trappists (115) zen (146)

Thomas Merton has 1 past event. (show)

Member ratings

Average: (3.97)
0.5 4
1 32
1.5 6
2 108
2.5 34
3 411
3.5 82
4 730
4.5 84
5 745

Author pictures (3)


(see all 3 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Thomas Merton is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Thomas Merton is composed of 27 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 170,268,971 books! | Top bar: Always visible