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Notes on Genesis and Exodus


Thomas Merton Libri


Among the numerous sets of conferences that Thomas Merton presented during his decade (1955-1965) as novice master at the Cistercian Abbey of Gethsemani are the two courses included in the present volume, a thorough examination of the book of Genesis that began in mid-1956 and concluded on the Feast of Pentecost, 1957, and a considerably less detailed series of classes on the book of Exodus from 1957-1958. These texts, made available here for the first time in a critical edition accompanied by a comprehensive introduction and extensive annotation, comprise the only major surviving teaching notes on particular books of Scripture dating from the years when Merton was in charge of the novitiate and provide direct access to his views on the intellectual, and particularly the spiritual, contexts in which they should be read, understood, and appreciated. As biblical scholar Pauline Viviano writes in her preface, ""This edition of Thomas Merton's class notes brings us into the workings of a great spiritual leader's mind as he reflects upon Scripture. . . . His audience consists of the novices at the Abbey of Gethsemani, but all who are on a spiritual journey can gain from his insights and the lessons he draws.""
 
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