The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 18th General Meeting


Maria Clara Bingemer

Maria Clara Bingemer, professor of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro, and author of books such as Thomas Merton: A Clausura No Centro Do Mundo [editor], A Face for God: Reflections on Trinitarian Theology for Our Times, and Simone Weil: Mystic of Passion and Compassion.  

Christine M. Bochen

Christine M. Bochen, professor emerita of religious studies at Nazareth College, Rochester, New York and a founding member and past president of the International Thomas Merton Society, has taught courses, given retreats, and spoken on Merton in a variety of venues in the United States, Canada, and abroad. Christine is co-author, with William H. Shannon and Patrick F. O’Connell, of The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia; editor of Courage for Truth, Learning to Love, and Thomas Merton: Essential Writings; and co-editor, with William H. Shannon, of Cold  War Letters and Thomas Merton: A Life in Letters.

Simone Campbell

Sister Simone Campbell served as Executive Director of NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice from 2004-2021. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change.  In 2012, she was also instrumental in organizing the first “Nuns on the Bus” tour and has subsequently led six cross-country “Nuns on the Bus” trips, focused on tax justice, healthcare, economic justice, comprehensive immigration reform, voter turnout, bridging divides in politics and society, and mending the gaps in wealth and access in the U.S. 

Kathleen Deignan

Kathleen Deignan, CND, is founding director of the Deignan Institute for Earth and Spirit at Iona College, New Rochelle, NY, where she was Professor of Religious Studies for 40 years while guiding The Merton Contemplative Initiative and co-convening The Thomas Berry Forum for Ecological Dialogue. Past President of the International Thomas Merton Society, she is a regular presenter at its meetings. Her book-length publications include When the Trees Say Nothing: Thomas Merton’s Writings on Nature and Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours, including an audio-book that includes her sacred songs and psalmody.

Sophia Park

Sophia Park, professor of Religious Studies at Holy Names University, and author of An Asian Woman’s Religious Journey with Thomas Merton: A Journey to the East.

Christopher Pramuk

Dr. Christopher Pramuk is Regis University Chair of Ignatian Thought and President of the International Thomas Merton Society. He is the author of six books, including two award-winning studies of the famed Catholic monk and spiritual writer Thomas Merton, as well as, as well as Hope Sings, So Beautiful: Graced Encounters Across the Color Line, a meditation on race relations in society and church. Chris’s latest book, The Artist Alive: Explorations in Music, Art, and Theology, draws from his many years of using music, poetry, and the arts in the classroom. Chris lectures widely around the country and has led retreats on topics such as racial justice, Ignatian spirituality, and the witness of Thomas Merton.

Lynn Szabo

Lynn R. Szabo is a devoted scholar of the poet, mystic, and political activist Thomas Merton. She is the editor of the first comprehensive selection of his poetry, In the Dark Before Dawn: New Selected Poems of Thomas Merton (New Directions, 2005), and is Professor Emerita of English Literature, Trinity Western University, near Vancouver. In her retirement, Lynn serves as a spiritual director, a mentor to writers and young professors, and a facilitator of study groups for the National Council of Jewish Women. Her decades of studying poetry, especially Merton’s, are one of the pleasures not interrupted by her more recent life as a wheelchair navigator!

Bonnie Thurston

Bonnie Thurston, founding member and third president of the International Thomas Merton Society, has written or edited twenty-four books on scripture, theology and spirituality and is also the author of six collections of poetry. Her book Shaped by the End You Live For: Thomas Merton’s Monastic Spirituality was published in 2020.

Monica Weis, SSJ

Monica Weis, SSJ, Professor Emerita of English at Nazareth College, Rochester, NY, is former vice president and board member of the International Thomas Merton Society. She is the author of Thomas Merton’s Gethsemani: Landscapes of Paradise (2005), The Environmental Vision of Thomas Merton (2011) and Thomas Merton and the Celts: A New World Opening Up (2016) as well as numerous articles and reviews on Merton.

Shannen Dee Williams

Shannen Dee Williams, professor of History at the University of Dayton, and author of Subversive Habits: Black Catholic Nuns in the Long African American Freedom Struggle.

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