January 23, 2013

Thomas Merton's White Guilt

Alex Mikulich, National Catholic Reporter

While many of Thomas Merton's books helped a broad lay audience understand and engage practices of Western mysticism and Buddhism, his prophetic and contemplative stance against white racism has yet to be understood, much less practiced, by a critical mass of white people of faith. Perhaps this is partially because he directly (yet compassionately) calls whites to confront our ongoing complicity in over-privilege and the oppression of people of color.

When Merton wrote "Letters to a White Liberal" in the early summer of 1963, in response to the signs of the times and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham Jail" of April 16, 1963, he articulated an enduring spirituality of a contemplative in action. "Letters to a White Liberal" form the basis for the...

Read Full Article ››

TAGGED: Racism, Thomas Merton