The Thomas Merton Society
of Great Britain & Ireland

Since 1993, The Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain & Ireland has been at the forefront of exploring the life & writings of Merton and his impact on the contemporary world, with conferences, retreats and the publication of the Merton Journal.

Oakham Conference 2020

Our 2020 Residential Conference will be held at Oakham School from
Thurday 2nd April - Saturday 4th April, 2020. The theme of the conference is:

Contemplation and Fruitful Action

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The society is delighted to announce that
Christopher Pramuk, chair of Ignatian Thought and Imagination, and associate professor of theology at Regis University in Denver, Colorado, is to be one of the keynote speakers at our 2020 Oakham conference. Among his publications are 2 books on Merton: At Play in Creation - Merton's awakening to the feminine divine & Sophia - The hidden Christ of Thomas Merton.
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In his essay 'Contemplation in a World of Action', Merton writes that a special dimension of personal development and inner discipline is 'a necessary ground for fruitful action'. Such a contemplative attitude can seem incompatible with our busy day-to-day lives. But for Merton, this is vital if our actions are to arise from an inner ground of meaning and love. As he writes in the essay:

  He who attempts to act and do things for others or for the world without deepening his own self-understanding, freedom, integrity and capacity to love, will have nothing to give others. He will communicate to them nothing but the contagion of his own obsessions, his aggressiveness, his self-centred ambitions, his delusions about ends and means, his doctrinaire prejudices and ideas.  

For Merton our own contemplative life, whether lay or cloistered, is an expression of 'a deep and grace-inspired desire for newness of life', a life in which God can act in us and through us to deepen our capacity to understand and to serve others.

Call for Papers/Workshops           Proposal Form for Papers/Workshops

Booking Forms will be available from Spetember 2019

Conference Programmes for previous years can be found under the Resources tab at the top.
Gordon Oyer's keynote presentation, 'Thomas Merton's Journey with Social Movements',
given at the Oakham Conference in 2018 can be downloaded here.

         The Merton Collection

Over the years the Society has built up a comprehensive collection of books, journals and volumes of letters by Merton along with a wide range of critical commentaries on Merton's work as well as recordings of talks and conferences given by Merton. The collection is now housed at St Michael's Priory, Willen outside Milton Keynes, where it may be freely consulted by all.

St Michael's Priory website          Details about the Collection          Link to the Merton Collection

Dates for your diary 

Thomas Merton - Contemplative Poet

May 18th 2019 at 7.30pm
An introduction to Merton's Contemplative Poetry

with Stephen Dunhill and musical settings by James D'Angelou
at Colet House, Hammersmith, London.

Entry by donation           Further details

On the Edge of Insight
The Contemplative Mysticism of Thomas Merton

'Spirituality of the Edge' Summer lectures
with Fiona Gardner.

Thursday June 13 at 17.30pm
Lower mews, Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath BA1 2RH

Further Details

'Lord, what do you want me to do'
St Francis' dream at Spoleto

An exploration of vocation aided by the writings of Thomas Merton
and the abstract paintings of the leader, 
Revd Canon Robert Wright

Monday 15th - Thursday 18th July 2019

at St Mary's Convent, Freeland, Oxfordshire

This retreat is organised by the Third Order of the Society of Saint Francis. If you are
interested in attending, please could you let the Society know by emailing and you will be contacted
with further details re booking, etc.

Contemplation and Fruitful Action

Thursday 2nd – Saturday 4th April 2020
Oakham School, Rutland

The Society's 2020 Residential Conference. See details above.

Selected Recent Publications

 Silence, Joy - A Selection of Writings
by Thomas Merton

by Christopher Wait, ed. - 22 November 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link

 The Significance of the Writing of
Thomas Merton - Cultivating peace

by Maryann Pasda Diedwardo
9 November 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 Superabundantly Alive: Thomas Merton's Dance with the Feminine

by Susan McCaslin & J S Porter - 12 Nov 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link

 The Waters of Siloe

by Thomas Merton - 15 October 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 Cistercian Fathers and Forefathers:
Essays and Conferences

by  Thomas Merton & Patrick O'Connell, ed. 
15 September 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link

 Spiritual Voices

by Eleanor Clitheroe & S Brooke Anderson, ed.
7 September 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 Thomas Merton - Evil and Why We Suffer: From Purified Soul Theodicy to Zen

by  David E. Orberson - 18 June 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link

 In Praise of a Useless Life: A Monk's Memoir

by Paul Quenon - 30 May 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 Where Prayer Flourishes
Orignally published as
The Climate of Monastic Prayer

by Thomas Merton - 31 May 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 Thomas Merton Meets the Unspeakable: Redezvous in Thailand

by Jerome Donovan - pub. 1 May 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 What I Am Living For: Lessons for Life from the Life and Writings of Thomas Merton

by Jon M. Sweeney (editor) - pub. 30 April 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


 The Monk's Record Player: Thomas Merton, Bob Dylan and the Perilous Summer of 1966

by  Robert Hudson - pub. 30 April 2018

Publisher's Details     Amazon Link


Our Centenary Edition of The Merton Journal, Universal Vision, is an enlarged volume of 200 pages with contributors from across Europe. It explores Merton's profound legacy in a unique collection of essays and meditations; and it also includes some of Merton's own newly-discovered student articles from his time at Cambridge University in 1933-34.  

All members receive copies of the Journal. Further copies are available for £8.99 +P&P. Contact for further details.

Further recent publications can be found under the 'Publications' tab