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Merton's Correspondence with:

Thich Nhat Hanh; Thich Nhât Hanh; Hanh, Thich Nhât; Thich Nhat-Hanh, Thich; Thich Nhât-Hanh, Thich

Nhât Hanh, Thich  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1966, 1974
Volume: 7 item(s); 9 pg(s)

Scope and Content

This set of correspondence includes two carbon copies of letters from Merton to Nhât Hanh, which have been published in The Hidden Ground of Love. In addition, there is an original letter from Nhât Hanh to Merton, and it remains unpublished. Thich Nhât Hanh mentions other letters not contained in the Center's holding, "The letters you sent to Saigon still remain there" (Letter of 1966/09/03).


Thich Nhât Hanh was a Buddhist monk, originally from Vietnam. During the Vietnam war, he struggled to negotiate peace and end the conflict between the North and South in a non-partisan fashion. In so doing, he was condemned by both sides and had to flee the country. After leaving Vietnam, he lectured in the United States. In 1967, Martin Luther King, Jr. nominated Nhât Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. In later years, he lived in France at a monastic community called Plum Village. (Sources: The Thomas Merton Encyclopedia, pp. 325-326; the Plum Village Web site)

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also published letters from Merton to Nhât Hanh published in The Hidden Ground of Love, pp. 381-382; and see also the "Nobel Institute" file for a copy of "Nhat Hanh Is My Brother" and to see Merton's nomination of Nhât Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Other Finding Aids

If the person in correspondence with Merton has full text records in the Merton Center Digital Collections, there will be a numeric link to them below.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

Click icons for links: ✓="Published | Library Record", ✉="Scanned" | 🗷="Scanned, Viewable Only at Merton Center"

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1966/06/29 TL[c] from Merton I suppose you are probably back in Viet Nam by now. I thought of you today because I finished your Hanh's book on Buddhism / John Heidbrink and translation of book / FOR people nominated Hanh for Nobel Peace Prize / problems with formalism and conservatism common between Catholicism and Buddhism «detailed view»
2. 1966/09/03 HLS to Merton I am happy to get your letter, handled by Al Hassler. The letters you sent to Saigon still remain Suzuki's death / book on problem on Buddhism in VN [Vietnam?] «detailed view»
3. 1966/09/12 TL[c] from Merton Thanks for your letter from Paris. It is good to have news from you. I am sure that in Europe you Vietnam / letters about Hanh to President and Pentagon / Kentucky and Buddhism / notes and article on Suzuki «detailed view»
4. 1966/09/14 TL[x] from Heidbrink, John I am writing perhaps too soon after receiving your letter, but I want to very much, therefore, will includes news about Thomas Merton and Daniel Berrigan «detailed view»
5. 1966/09/24 HLS[x] from Heidbrink, John Thank you for your letter. I just received a book of Thomas Merton translated in Vietnamese Thomas Merton - translation of Seeds of Contemplation «detailed view»
6. 1968/04/24 HCS to Merton I hope you like these "white flowers". I am still in the country. My visa is good until June 15. [verso of card: "White Flowers. From: Kaki Shase I Zu, Japanese Manuscript, late 18th century. Spencer Collection. The New York Public Library."] «detailed view»
7. 1974/08/02 TLS[x] to Center from Forest, Jim A very quick note (as my secretary has gone on vacation and it is too bloody steamy here for long Vietnamese MMM Buddhist Peace Delegation / Thich Nhat Hanh requested to see if there was correspondence between him and Merton at Center «detailed view»

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