Bonnie Thurston - “...almost as if I had a sister”: Thomas Merton and Etta Gullick. Presented for the Tuesdays with Merton Series, October 13, 2020.

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Bonnie Thurston - “...almost as if I had a sister”: Thomas Merton and Etta Gullick. Presented for the Tuesdays with Merton Series, October 13, 2020.

Description

William Shannon described Merton’s correspondence with Etta Gullick as “the most charming set of all,” and yet she is little known in the United States and under-represented in studies of Merton and spirituality. After briefly introducing Mrs. Gullick, her work, and their correspondence and respective roles in priestly/monastic formation work, we will consider their exchange on “progress” in contemplative prayer. Those zealous for homework will find Merton’s letters to Gullick in William H. Shannon (ed.), The Hidden Ground of Love: The Letters of Thomas Merton on Religious Experience and Social Concerns (Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 1985).

Bonnie Thurston resigned a Chair and Professorship in New Testament to live quietly in her home state of West Virginia. She is author or editor of 22 theological works and six collections of poetry, and frequently contributes to scholarly and popular periodicals. Bonnie wrote an early doctoral dissertation on Merton and was a founding member and past president of the ITMS. She has published over 50 articles on Merton and given retreats and lectured on his ideas in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, and Europe. She edited Thomas Merton and Buddhism (2007), Hidden in the Same Mystery: Thomas Merton and Loretto (2010), and Thomas Merton on Eastern Meditation (2012) and wrote Shaped by the End You Live For: Thomas Merton’s Monastic Spirituality (2020). Her work on Merton has been translated into Dutch, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish. Bonnie is an avid walker, gardener, cook, and lover of classical music.

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© Bonnie Thurston

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Tuesdays with Merton Series

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