Thomas Merton: Primum Mobile
In 1996, a group of monastics from the Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian traditions met at Gethsemani Abbey in Kentucky to share their experiences of the monastic life. This meeting took place for two reasons. The first was Thomas Merton, the Trappist monk, who resided at Gethsemani, and pioneered interreligious dialogue, when he met His Holiness the Dalai Lama in 1968. It was perhaps partly out of that curiosity and faithfulness to the idea of dialogue that the Vatican started an organization eventually called Monastic Interreligious Dialogue
(MID) in the mid-1970s to encourage continued dialogue between those faiths with monastic traditions (Buddhism, Christianity, and Hinduism), an effort that continues to this day.
Lantern has published a number of titles on interreligious dialogue, including Islam Is. . .
, The Common Heart
, The Attentive Voice, and two books about Swami Abhishiktananda/Henri Le Saux (God's Harp String
and Witness to the Fullness of Light
In addition to this, Lantern is thrilled to have brought under one roof the three books that emerged from the main Gethsemani Encounters: 1996
(The Spiritual Life
(Finding Peace in Troubled Times
), and Green Monasticism
). The extraordinary range of voices—which include in The Spiritual Life
the Dalai Lama—represent the fullness of a life dedicated to the principles of discipline, devotion, authenticity, practice, and compassion.
As part of its continuing engagement with interreligious dialogue, MID (with its European counterpart DIM) has now produced Dilatato Corde
, a journal that brings together the most incisive and comprehensive work on interreligious dialogue, both theoria
, currently existing.