W.L. Lyons Brown Library

Thomas Merton Center

Bellarmine University


Seeds of Hope:

Thomas Merton’s Contemplative Message

Conference Papers from the Avila Conference.

Edited by Fernando Beltrán Llavador and Paul M. Pearson.


The first International Thomas Merton Conference in Spain was held in Ávila between the 27th and 29th of October 2006, with over 350 participants from 19 countries.

Thomas Merton was convinced that for any radical social, cultural, political, human change to be real and truly effective in the long run, it has to be spiritual. Merton’s vision of hope, succinctly summed up in The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia, provided the focus of the Conference and serves as the best introduction to this book:

Christianity, according to Thomas Merton, is preeminently “a religion of hope,” founded on the belief that human beings are created in the image and likeness of God and that divine mercy and goodness are more powerful than human evil (Monastic Journey, 52). The basis for Christian hope, then, is God’s love and acceptance, as revealed in the cross of Christ (Thoughts in Solitude, 38-39), and in the new life bestowed by “the great feast of Christian hope: the Resurrection” (Road to Joy, 99). Merton emphasizes both that hope has a transcendent dimension, pointing toward the ultimate fulfillment of the world to come (Thoughts in Solitude, 38), the eschatological kingdom (Seasons of Celebration, 60), and that it has profound effects on the way one’s life is lived here and now. The “problem of hope,” Merton writes, is “to establish a right relationship between the past and the future, which give spiritual solidity to the present(Search for Solitude, 354).


The book is bilingual, containing all the papers from the conference in both English and Spanish. The following papers are included:


How to get your copy...

Ordering in the United States and Canada:

Copies are available from the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University for a minimum donation of $25, including postage and packing. Check, in US Dollars only, should be made payable to the Merton Center Restricted Fund and sent to:

Dr Paul M Pearson.
Thomas Merton Center,
Bellarmine University,
2001 Newburg Road,
Louisville. KY. 40205.

Or print off and complete the Order Form  


In Europe order from:

CISTERCIUM / Abadía Cisterciense de Viaceli
39320 CÓBRECES (Cantabria) España
revcistercium@planalfa.es
Fax 942.725 086
15 €


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