Thomas Merton’s contemplative writings have spawned dozens of societies of thinkers and scholars across the globe.
Now, St. Bonaventure University near Olean is preparing for its time at the center of the Merton universe.
The university will host a three-day conference June 19 to 22 celebrating the relationship between the university and the Trappist monk. His poetry and other writings have been lauded for decades for their deep insight into religion, spirituality, civil rights and non-violence.
Merton spent more than a year in the early 1940s teaching at St. Bonaventure, prior to joining a Trappist monastery in Kentucky where he did most of his writing, including the famous autobiography, “The Seven Storey Mountain,” in which his time at the university figures prominently. Merton penned more than 50 books and 2,000 poems before his death by accidental electrocution in 1968.
The conference will feature renowned Merton scholars such as Christine Bochen, Catholic studies professor at Nazareth College, and Michael Higgins, professor of religious studies and vice president for mission and Catholic identity at Sacred Heart University.
The Rev. Dan Horan, a columnist for American magazine, also will be a featured speaker.
For a schedule and registration details, go to www.sbu.edu/merton.