september, 2018

22sep10:15 am- 4:00 pmThomas Merton. A quiet day with Bonnie Thurston Quiet Day 10:15 am - 4:00 pm St. Katharine's HouseEvent Type:Quiet Days

Event Details

Thomas Merton.

A quiet day with Bonnie Thurston

22nd September 2018

Perhaps history’s most talkative Trappist, American monk Thomas Merton was nevertheless a modern spiritual master. The roots of all he wrote were sunk deep in the soil of contemplative prayer. After an introduction to Merton’s writing and thought, we will explore what he meant by “contemplation”. From a passage in a letter Merton wrote to a Pakistani Sufi we’ll isolate five principles of his prayer. Planned as a gentle day, there will be time and space for silent reflection as well as questions and discussion.

Suggested optional  Prior Reading or Perusal:

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation

Christine M. Bochen (ed.), Thomas Merton: Essential Writings (Orbis Books, 2000)

Bonnie Thurston resigned a Chair and Professorship in New Testament for quieter work in her home state of West Virginia, USA. She is author or editor of 21 theological books (3 on Merton) and 6 volumes of poetry. Her doctoral dissertation on Merton was one of the first. Subsequent work on Merton has been translated into Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish. A founding member of the International Thomas Merton Society, she served it in several capacities. Her recent publications include All the Fullness of God: The Christ of Colossians (Wipf and Stock, 2017), Hidden in God: The Desert Spirituality of Charles de Foucauld (Ave Maria, 2016), Practicing Silence: New and Selected Verses (Paraclete Press, 2014), and From Darkness to Eastering (Wild Goose Press, 2017). Bonnie is an avid reader, walker, gardener, and cook,  loves classical music (especially the opera) and her West Virginia hills.

Bonnie Bowman Thurston,  biography

Bonnie Thurston, a native of southern West Virginia, lives quietly near Wheeling, WV
having resigned the William F. Orr Professorship in New Testament at Pittsburgh
Theological Seminary in 2002. She earned the B.A. in English (First Honors) from
Bethany College, and the M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Virginia. The
subject of her dissertation was Thomas Merton. She has done post-doctoral work in
New Testament at Harvard Divinity School; Eberhard Karls University in Tuebingen,
Germany; and the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem. Bonnie has written or edited 21
theological books and many articles, has contributed to reference works in New
Testament and taught at the university level for 30 years. Her scholarly interests in New
Testament include the gospels of Mark and John, the Deutero-Pauline canon and, more
generally, the history of Christian Spirituality and prayer. Her church affiliations include
the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Episcopal Church, U.S.A. She was
ordained in 1984 and has served as co-pastor, pastor, or interim of five churches and
twice in overseas ministries. She is an experienced spiritual director and retreat leader.
Her poetry frequently appears in religious periodicals, and she has authored six
volumes of verse. Bonnie is a widow, an avid walker, reader, gardener and cook,
enjoys classical music (especially the opera and liturgical music) and loves the West
Virginia hills.
Thomas Merton Connection
Bonnie wrote her doctoral dissertation on Thomas Merton and is particularly interested
in his poetry and his inter-religious thought. She was a founding member of the
International Thomas Merton Society, served as its third president, and received a
“Louie” award for service to the Society. She has written many articles on Merton and
given retreats and lectured on Merton widely in the U.S., Canada, the U.K. and Europe.
She edited Thomas Merton And Buddhism (Fons Vitae Press, 2007), Hidden in the
Same Mystery: Thomas Merton & Loretto (Fons Vitae, 2010) and Thomas Merton on
Eastern Meditation (New Directions, 2012). Her work on Merton has been translated
into Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish.
Recent Books (most recent last in list)
The Spiritual Landscape of Mark (Liturgical Press)
For God Alone: A Primer on Prayer (London: Darton, Longman, Todd & U.S.A.:
University of Notre Dame Press)
Thomas Merton on Eastern Meditation (New Directions) editor
Maverick Mark: Untaming the First Gospel (Liturgical Press)
O Taste and See (Paraclete Press)
Hidden in God: Discovering the Desert Spirituality of Charles de Foucauld (Ave Maria Press)
All the Fullness of God: The Christ of Colossians (Wipf & Stock)
Bonnie is the author of six collections of verse : The Heart’s Lands and Hints and
Glimpses (Three Peaks Press, Wales), Belonging to Borders (Liturgical Press), A Place
to Pay Attention (Cinnamon Press , Wales), Practicing Silence (Paraclete Press), and
From Darkness to Eastering (Wild Goose Press). Her poetry has been published in
many periodicals including Anglican Theological Review, The Christian Century, The
Merton Seasonal, Quattrocento (Wales), Spirituality and Health, Spirituality (Ireland),
Spiritus and Theology Today. An award winning poet, she was a runner up in America
magazine’s 2007 Foley Poetry Contest, and recently, won 3rd prize in the long poem
category of the WV Writers, Inc. contest. She has given readings at Bethany College in
WV, Cathedral College of the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., Society of the
Sacred Cross, Tymawr Convent (Wales), the Arts Centre at the University of
Abersythwyth (Wales), and Public Libraries in West Virginia and Ohio.


(Saturday) 10:15 am - 4:00 pm


St. Katharine's House

2 Butcher Row, London E14 8DS