The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedPaul Claudel
Title QuotedJeanne d'Arc au bûcher
Date (Year/Month/Day)1959/02/28
QuotationThere is something much too mental and abstract, something too parochial about a great deal of Catholic thought and Catholic spirituality today, and this applies to the contemplatives in large measure. So much of it is all in the head. And in politics it is even worse: all the formulas, the gestures, the animosities, and the narrowness. I can easily understand your attitude though I do not know the situation. I can understand your looking for something in Simone Weil and am glad you translated her. Personally I found a great deal that rang a bell for me in Dr. Zhivago and I very much like [Nikolai] Berdyaev. There are people in the Orthodox Theological Institute (Institut Saint Serge) in Paris who are doing some tremendous thinking in spiritual things ([Paul] Evdokimov for instance) "¦Among the Catholics [Louis] Bouyer is writing some good things, also of course [Henri] De Lubac, [Jean] Danielou etc. And then there is [Romano] Guardini, who is splendid. I have never been able to read a line of [Paul] Claudel's big fat poems, but I like Jeanne d'Arc au bûcher and some of his prose, particularly about Japan. Japan is another obsession of mine. Not Rashomon"”yet! Only Zen.
Quotation SourceThe Courage for Truth: Letters of Thomas Merton to Writers.; Selected and edited by Christine M. Bochen. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1993, p. 56-57
Letter toCzeslaw Milosz
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