The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 16TH General Meeting


Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, California

from June 27-30, 2019

Call for Papers - Call for Papers - Call for Papers - Call for Papers


“O peace, bless this mad place”


Thomas Merton hoped for a peace that the world cannot give—a peace nurtured in silence and prayer. He articulates this in a volume of poems first published in 1963, Emblems in a Season of Fury. In it, Merton passionately petitioned peace for a blessing, writing: "O peace, bless this mad place: Silence love this growth.” For Merton, the forces of division, alienation, and nihilism perpetually hinder our realization of the beloved community. He recognizes all too well our need to shatter our ordinary horizons, to cross internal and external boundaries, and embrace the work of discovering a common humanity. Merton's words resonate today and inspire us into a revolution of love. Like St. Ignatius, Merton calls us to find God in all things, believing that “God uses everything that happens as a means to lead me into solitude…a solitude of heart in which created joys are consumed and reborn in God” (journal of June 13, 1947). In his essay “Rain and the Rhinoceros,” Merton reminds us that solitude is not disengagement from the world, “it is the solitary person (whether in the city or in the desert) who does [hu]mankind the inestimable favor of reminding it of its true capacity for maturity, liberty and peace.”


We invite proposals for presentations related to the conference theme on topics such as (but not limited to): Merton's non-violent peace building; his friendship with Dan Berrigan, S.J., his connections to the Central and Northern California regions, Merton and Ignatian spirituality; or significant anniversaries such as the recent fiftieth anniversary of his death, or the one hundredth anniversary of the Treaty of Versailles.


Session formats include:

1. Scholarly Papers designed for presentation in twenty minutes (8-10 double-spaced pages,maximum).

2. Workshops designed to involve interactive participation incorporating adult learning strategiesand/or small group discussion.

3. Creative/Dramatic Presentations using music, poetry, dance or other media to provide insightinto aspects of Merton’s life or work.

4. Guided Meditation/Prayer Sessions, particularly those using Merton’s own writings as aframework for prayer and meditative reflection.

Please note: Workshops, Creative/Dramatic Presentations, and Guided Meditation/Prayer Sessions should be designed for a ninety-minute session.

Proposals of no more than 250 words and a short biographical statement (one to two sentences) should be submitted by May 15, 2018 by e-mail attachment to or by mail to: ITMS 2019, Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University, 2001 Newburg Road, Louisville, Kentucky 40205 USA.


Call for Papers - Call for Papers - Call for Papers - Call for Papers

Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, Santa Clara University blends high-tech innovation with a social consciousness grounded in the Jesuit educational tradition. The campus spans 106 lush acres with world-renowned gardens and state-of-the-art facilities all surrounding an iconic Mission.

Santa Clara is located at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay, adjacent to San Jose, the 10th largest city in the U.S., and just two miles from San Jose International Airport.

Plenary Speakers:


Presidential Address
Mark C. Meade


Opening Sessions:

First-Timers' Session

Chapters Workshop

Merton Scholars

Emerging Scholars


Concurrent Sessions:


Workshops, Guided Prayer & Special Presentations:


Program Committee


Michael W. Higgins, Bridgeport, CT (Chair)

Natalie Terry, San Francisco, CA (Site Coordinator)

Christine M. Bochen, Rochester, NY

Kevin Burns, Ottawa, ON

Cassidy Hall, Venice, CA

Mark C. Meade, Louisville, KY

David Orberson, New Albany, IN

Joseph Q. Raab, Adrian, MI







 Santa Clara Site Committee

Natalie Terry (Site Coordinator)