Thomas Merton: ‘Nonviolence is Most Exacting Form of Struggle’

“Non-violence is perhaps the most exacting of all forms of struggle, not only because it demands first of all that one be ready to suffer evil and even face the threat of death without retaliation, but because it excludes mere transient self-interest, even political, from its considerations.” —Thomas Merton

Faith and Violence: Christian Teaching and Christian Practice by Thomas Merton (University of Notre Dame Press, 1968, p. 14)

2 thoughts on “Thomas Merton: ‘Nonviolence is Most Exacting Form of Struggle’”

  1. Hi Korla–
    There are so many different “Mertons” that it’s hard to know which specific direction to point you to. But I CAN say that his three books that I return to often are “Zen and the Birds of Appetite”, “Conjections of a Guilty Bystander” and “Faith and Violence” (oh yeah, and “Sayings of the Desert Fathers”). So with those – you won’t go wrong.

  2. Ok, Rose, I was wandering the Luther Seminary bookstore this morning, looking at the (very long) shelf of Merton books, wondering whom I should ask for their recommendation. I don’t want to take a ton of books to Detroit with me (I’m like my dad that way, so you know I very well could). And now that I think about it, you seem like the perfect person to ask which Merton book(s) should make the cut. What do you think?

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