‘Zen Photography’ of Thomas Merton to Be Displayed at Duquesne

A notable public exhibition of photographs by renowned 20th-century Trappist monk Thomas Merton will be on display this fall at Gumberg Library.

A Hidden Wholeness: Zen Photography of Thomas MertonA Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton will be displayed Monday, Sept. 16, through Friday, Nov. 8, in the 4th floor Popular Reading Room.

Merton—a monk, mystic, author, poet, artist and social critic—is known for his work advocating for civil rights and racial justice, and for peace during the Vietnam War. Merton initiated serious dialogue between Christianity and Asian spiritual traditions and was particularly interested in Zen Buddhism.

As his involvement with Buddhism deepened, Merton discovered photography as both an art and a way to cultivate spirituality. The activity fostered his ability to appreciate the sacred nature of everyday life—an activity he deemed “Zen photography.”

Two public talks will be held at the library in conjunction with the exhibit. Dr. Paul Pearson, director of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University, will address Merton’s encounter with photography and Zen at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. Zen teacher and artist Bruce Soun Harris Roshi will present Seeing Which is Being Which is Acting at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7.

The exhibit and lectures are sponsored by the department of psychology and made possible by support from an anonymous donor, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Gumberg Library and the Simon Silverman Phenomenology Center.

For more information, contact Dr. Will Adams.