Thomas Merton (1915-1968) is arguably the most influential American Catholic author of the twentieth century. His autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain has sold over one million copies and has been translated into over fifteen languages. He wrote over sixty other books and hundreds of poems and articles on topics ranging from monastic spirituality to civil rights, nonviolence, and the nuclear arms race. In this paper I will discuss Thomas Merton’s interest in the Shakers and suggest some of the reasons for his attraction to them.
American Communal Societies Quarterly