The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Citation of Books Detail

Click here to return to the main list

Author QuotedKarl Rahner
Title QuotedOn the Theology of Death
Date (Year/Month/Day)1962/03/00
ImprintNew York : Herder and Herder. 1961
QuotationI am most grateful for the books. Rahner's Theology of Death was the first thing I grabbed, and I finished it quickly. It is superb. Funnily enough, my reaction would shock him, but besides clarifying my Christian faith it threw immense light on the real nature of Buddhism. He would be horrified. But that is precisely the Buddhist approach: that death can and should be an act of complete liberation, a going forth, an act by which one freely and completely leaves behind all that is not definitive, and the affirmation of the meaning hidden in all one's other acts. He of course tries to dismiss Buddhism as a spiritual sin, and he may be right of certain aspects of it. But I have been studying it a bit, and I think this is the real meaning of nirvana, and it has absolutely nothing whatever to do with a quietist ecstasy. The other books came yesterday and I shall enjoy them, bit by bit.
Quotation SourceWitness to Freedom: The Letters of Thomas Merton in Times of Crisis.; Selected and edited by William H. Shannon. / New York : Farrar Straus Giroux. 1994, p. 47
Letter toJustus George Lawler
Link to Merton's Copy  

(If there is a link above showing up as a number, click it to open another window with a full text version.)