The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

Results by Subject Category

Displaying Results for the Following Subject Categories:

Category:         Social and political
SubCategory:  Ecology and Nature

Follow link under "Source" below for a list of Merton books corresponding to abbreviations.
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DateAuthorTitleSourceQuotation by Merton
1961/02/12Laurens Post, van derDark Eye in Africa: Politics, Psychology Ltrs: HGL p. 129 Have you read a wonderful book called the Dark Eye in Africa by Laurens Van der Post? He is another remarkable person, and on primitive man he also wrote a splendid book about the Bushmen of South Africa, Lost World of the Kalahari. Several other interesting books about these Bushmen are appearing here and there. Most important insights into the reality of primitive man. What you quote AKC as saying about the underlying resentment and contempt in the attitude of men like Frazer and Levy-Bruhl is terribly true.
1962/12/11Rachel CarsonSilent spring / by Rachel Carson ; drawings by Lois and Louis Darling Jnl 4 ('60-'63) p. 274 I have been shocked at a notice of a new book, by Rachel Carson [Silent Spring], on what is happening to birds as a result of the indiscriminate use of poisons (which do not manage to kill all the insects they intend to kill). Someone will say: you worry about birds: why not worry about people? I worry about both birds and people. We are in the world and part of it and we are destroying everything because we are destroying ourselves, spiritually, morally and in every way. It is all part of the same sickness, and it all hangs together.
1963/01/12Rachel CarsonSilent spring / by Rachel Carson ; drawings by Lois and Louis Darling Ltrs: HGL p. 213-14 I am just reading Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. Have you read it? You must. It is very enlightening, because it shows that the disease is everywhere. The same type of absurd logic that drives us to nuclear adventures is driving us to spray thousands of acres with something that does not effectively eliminate the insect we are getting at, but does eliminate the birds that would otherwise eat the insect we don't like. It is very instructive, and the book hits hard chapter after chapter. Very important to get this idea around, it is not peripheral at all.
1963/01/12Rachel CarsonSilent spring / by Rachel Carson ; drawings by Lois and Louis Darling Ltrs: WtoF p. 70 Anne Ford very kindly sent me your latest book, Silent Spring, which I am reading carefully and with great concern. I want to tell you first of all that I compliment you on the fine, exact, and persuasive book you have written, and secondly that it is perhaps much more timely even than you or I realize. Though you are treating of just one aspect, and a rather detailed aspect, of our technological civilization, you are, perhaps without altogether realizing, contributing a most valuable and essential piece of evidence for the diagnosis of the ills of our civilization. The awful irresponsibility with which we scorn the smallest values is part of the same portentous irresponsibility with which we dare to use our titanic power in a way that threatens not only civilization but life itself. The same mental processing"”I almost said mental illness"”seems to be at work in both cases, and your book makes it clear to me that there is a consistent pattern running through everything that we do, through every aspect of our culture, our thought, our economy, our whole way of life. What this pattern is I cannot say clearly, but I believe it is now the most vitally important thing for all of us, however we may be concerned with our society, to try to arrive at a clear, cogent statement of our ills, so that we may begin to correct them.
1967/01/10Loren EiseleyFirmament of Time Jnl 6 ('66-'67) p. 185 Another "natural" for me - Loren Eiseley. Amiya Chakravarty spoke of him and sent two books, and Harcourt Brace is giving out a little privately printed lecture of his which I have just read. Perfect. And clicks perfectly with what I have had on my mind all morning. I hope to begin The Firmament of Time [New York, 1960] - seems to fit in with what I read in Guardini - Pascal on Nature. Perhaps another good start.
1968/02/25Roderick Frazier NashWilderness & the American Mind Jnl 7 ('67-'68) p. 58 Yesterday I wrote a short piece on Wilderness (the Nash book) in the afternoon. Importance of the "ecological conscience." (Same war as above!!)