The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

MERTON'S CORRESPONDENCE WITH:
Baker, James Thomas, 1940-

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Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence

Dates of materials: 1967-1968, 1980

Volume: 12 item(s); 20 pg(s)

Scope and Content

In this interesting group of letters, Merton provides insights on how the body of his works were viewed within the Church, by the academic community, and by non-Catholics like James T. Baker, a Baptist.

Biography

James Thomas Baker, at the time of writing, was a graduate student in humanities at Florida State University. He was writing an interdisciplinary dissertation about Merton in literature, the arts, and religion (see "Related Information" below). Baker first came to know of Merton's writings while a student of Glenn Hinson at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY.

Usage Guidelines and Restrictions

Related Information and Links

See also a dissertation, a book, and a play by James Thomas Baker about Thomas Merton, and published letters from Merton to Baker in The Hidden Ground of Love.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

SeriesDateTypeTo/FromFirst LinesPubFull TextNotes
 1967/09/13 TLSto MertonGlenn Hinson, who was my teacher and spiritual adviser at the Baptist seminary in Louisville,  mentions dissertation proposal and asks if he can meet with Merton to ask him some questions
 1967/09/29 TL[c]from MertonThanks for your letter. As I have not made any firm commitments as far ahead as next March, I leaveYes suggestions of what to read / sending mimeographs of articles on different subjects
 1967/10/10 TLSto MertonI am grateful for your interest in my dissertation and for your concern that I get materials which  a time for visit / "Sacred and Profane Art" from <u>Jubilee</u> and "Religion and Race in the United States" from <u>Blackfriars</u>
 1967/10/16 TL[c]from MertonFine. I'll keep Feb. 28th for you. Let me know when you will arrive, and whether you will wantYes sending "Hot Summer of Sixty Seven?" to appear in small magazine Katallagete
 1968/03/04 TLSto MertonI wish to express my appreciation to you for your hospitality last week and for the help which you  sending back a manuscript and a copy of <i>The Spire</i> by William Golding
 1968/03/28 TL[c]from MertonThanks for the return of the various items. Actually, the mimeographed ones did not need to beYes pamphlet on Camus' <i>Plague</i> / support of conscientious objector angers conservative Catholics in Louisville / burning Merton's books / review on Altizer's book on Blake / Shaker material in Bowling Green [KY]
 1968/05/no? TLSto MertonI am happy to tell you that my committee accepted the dissertation this week and that I have now  completed PhD / moving to Bowling Green [to teach at Western Kentucky University] / sending dissertation / sending dialogue with Baptist church students
 1968/06/11 (#01)TAL[c]from MertonIn the past couple of weeks I have hardly had time to answer any mail at all. Things have been moreYes praise for dissertation with a few minor corrections / first dissertation, and most balanced perspective on his works, from a Baptist / Catholics have "either total adulation or total rejection" of his works
 1968/06/11 (#02)TL[c]from MertonIn the past couple of weeks I have hardly had time to answer any mail at all. Things have been moreYes praise for dissertation with a few minor corrections / first dissertation, and most balanced perspective on his works, from a Baptist / Catholics have "either total adulation or total rejection" of his works
 1968/07/03 TLSto MertonWe are safely settled in Bowling Green and are enjoying the "cool" Kentucky summer. I am working in  planning to visit Merton / discuss Shaker material from Western's library and museum
 1968/07/25 TL[c]from MertonIn your letter you mention the cool summer: it has got hot enough now! I have thought often of youYes trip to Asia / Buddhist and other forms of monasticism / themes of "unity and reconciliation of opposites" in Merton's work and brought out in dissertation - true meaning of "Catholic"
 1980/no/no? other[x] James Thomas Baker [-] 335 Sumpter Avenue, Bowling Green, Kentucky 42101  [Vita of James Thomas Baker]
        

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