The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

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Author QuotedDenis Rougement
Title QuotedWestern Quest: the Principles of Civilization
Date (Year/Month/Day)1959/11/03
ImprintNew York : Harper. 1957
QuotationDenis de Rougemont: The Western Quest - seeking to resolve the antimony inherent in personal life-an antimony which came into conscious currency after Nicea. No solution in trying to combine individualism and collectivism in equal parts - Seeking refuge in one or other extreme = sabotage. Greek individualism and atomism-or Roman collectivism? Christian faith and vocation rose above both. A Crusoe, says DeR, has no real freedom because the tension, the antinomy is lacking. (But Crusoe is a myth.) Complete absorption in collectivity - also empty of freedom. Mixture of the two tendencies does not create personal tension. This point is important-and new for me.
Quotation SourceA Search for Solitude: Pursuing the Monk's True Life. The Journals of Thomas Merton, Volume 3, 1952-1960.; Edited by Lawrence S. Cunningham. / San Francisco : Harper Collins. 1996, p. 339-40
Letter to 
Notes 
Link to Merton's Copy