Monasteries of the Heart

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Thomas Merton and Peacemaking

Thomas Merton and Peacemaking with John Dear

Is the vocation of peacemaker reserved for a chosen few or is it your call too? The late Trappist monk Thomas Merton believed peacemaking and nonviolence were Gospel imperatives. In this four-week eCourse, best-selling author and peace activist John Dear explores how the writings and mentoring of Merton profoundly influenced the peace landscape of the institutional church and continues to shape it still. More importantly it forces all of us who claim to be followers of Jesus to grapple with the demanding invitation of the Sermon on the Mount. “Thomas Merton and Peacemaking” is a call to active nonviolence for a world in desperate need of creative and courageous alternatives to injustice and conflict. It is also a call to a nonviolent heart.

In this eCourse you will have access to:

  • four videos by John Dear on the peace themes of Thomas Merton
  • reflection questions to help you discern the vocation of peacemaker
  • creative rituals and activities on peace
  • action suggestions to develop a nonviolent lifestyle


In this video clip, John tells us what he will cover in this course. 

When Pope Francis visited the United States and spoke to Congress, he mentioned two Catholics worth emulating—one was Dorothy Day, the other Thomas Merton. This eCourse gives you a glimpse into why he chose Merton.

Who is John Dear? John Dear is an internationally known voice for peace and nonviolence. A long time activist, popular lecturer, and movement organizer, John is the author of 30 books and hundreds of articles, including “Living Peace,” “Jesus the Rebel,” and “The Nonviolent Life.” He was recently nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by Archbishop Desmond Tutu. A former Jesuit, he was ordained in 1993 and is now a priest of the Catholic Diocese of Monterey, California. Visit John's website.