Synopses & Reviews
While numerous studies have celebrated Thomas Merton's witness as an interfaith pioneer, poet, and peacemaker, there have been few systematic treatments of his Christology as such, and no sustained exploration to date of his relationship to the Russian Sophia" tradition. This book looks to Thomas Merton as a "classic" theologian of the Christian tradition from East to West, and offers an interpretation of his mature Christology, with special attention to his remarkable prose poem of 1962, Hagia Sophia. Bringing Merton's mystical-prophetic Vision fully into dialogue with contemporary Christology, Russian sophiology, and Zen, as well as figures such as John Henry Newman and Abraham Joshua Heschel, the author carefully but boldly builds the case that Sophia, the same theological eros that animated Merton's religious imagination in a period of tremendous fragmentation and violence, might infuse new vitality into our own.
A study of uncommon depth and scope, inspired throughout by Merton's extraordinary catholicity.
Christopher Pramuk, PhD, is assistant professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of two books and numerous essays, and the recipient of the Catholic Theological Society of America's 2009 Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award."
Pramuks study goes as far as any in outlining the Christology developed in Mertons copious writings. And by placing Merton in conversation with an eclectic group of theologians, past and present, the book succeeds in underscoring Mertons Christology and his understanding of the wisdom tradition. A new generation of Merton enthusiasts will appreciate both the effort and the result.Commonweal
Christopher Pramuk masterfully guides the reader into how Mertons life was transformed by his dialogue with both the Russian and Eastern mystics. Just when one thinks that enough has been written about Merton, that there is little more to be said, then here comes another gem that deserves serious attention. Bishop Robert F. Morneau, Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Green Bay
I love this book. Pramuks writing is at once deeply insightful and beautifully poetic. . . . It marks a fresh new insight into the depth of Mertons theological vision.Catholic Studies
Pramuks Sophia stands out as an exemplar of the best of what scholars of Merton can offer. . . .The book is a reflection on the nature of theology and a call to the renewal of the practice of theology through the sophiological approach. As such, it should be of interest not only to those interested in the retrieval of Mertons ideas and in the reconstruction of his monastic, theological, and personal identity, but also to those who remain convinced that theology still has something important to say in response to the most pressing questions that we face today.American Benedictine Review
This book will appeal to those who give it slow study and reflection. It is prayerful and mystical as well as being a finely documented academic study. The language is beautiful and engaging; one emerges from even a few pages feeling inspired and energized. Ahso thats what we believe and why we are Catholic! one might conclude with pride and hope.Leaven
Pramuk has written an audacious, radical and ultimately inspiring book. Audaciously, he takes on the complex and controversial task of translating Mertons richly literary and poetic writings into theology. In doing so, he calls Christians, and especially Christian theologians, radically to deepen or repossess the mystical sources for their life and work. The result is an inspiring invitation to find new and deeper meaning in both doctrine and practice.Theological Studies
Pramuk has jumped to the head of the pack and become one of our premiere theologians. . . . This book traces the emergence of Sophia in Mertons life and writings as a love and a presence that breaks through into the worlda living symbol and name through which he encountered the living God and with which he chose, at his poetic and prophetic best, to structure theological discourse.National Catholic Reporter
Christopher Pramuks Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton, is nothing less than a gift to Merton scholars, serious theologians, and contemplatively-minded Christians alike. . . . [It] represents a new starting point in Merton studies. There is no doubt that Pramuks book deserves and will receive significant attention.The Merton Seasonal
Bearing in mind that Vatican II was the conclusion of one era and the opening of another, Ladislas Orsy insists that the task of the church is to continuewith both creative insights and critical debates.Receiving the Council is a gift from a highly renowned and deeply respected canon lawyer and theologian who was an eye witness to Vatican II. It is filled with well-articulated questions andintelligent insights as well as prudent proposals for good structures in the "house of God" that is the church.
About the Author
Christopher Pramuk is associate professor of theology at Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. He is the author of Sophia: The Hidden Christ of Thomas Merton (Liturgical Press, 2009) and the recipient of the Catholic Theological Society of America's 2009 Catherine Mowry LaCugna Award, the International Thomas Merton Society's 2011 Thomas Merton Award (aka "The Louie"), and several best essay awards from the Catholic Press Association.