Winter Shapiro Lecture: "A Dialogue of Devotion: Thomas Merton, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, and Interreligious Friendship" (Rabbi Or Rose)
STARTS: Monday, March 13, 2017 at 4:00 PM
ENDS: Monday, March 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM
210 B and C
Lecturer: Rabbi Or Rose (Director, Betty Ann Greenbaum Miller Center for Interreligious Learning & Leadership of Hebrew College).
Description: Between 1961-1968, Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (d. 2014) and Thomas Merton (d. 1968) developed a close friendship largely through an exchange of personal letters and published and unpublished writings. This relationship was based on a shared quest for the holy through prayer, meditation, and lives of intensive spiritual practice. These two pioneering figures met during a period in their lives in which they were both increasingly open to the teachings of other religious and secular wisdom traditions, exploring commonalities and differences, and the possibilities and challenges of individual and communal engagement across faith lines. The friendship Merton and Schachter-Shalomi forged not only had a significant influence on these two men, but by extension, on the countless numbers of people they touched through their teachings, counseling, and writing. In exploring the biographical, historical, and theological contours of this relationship, I seek to understand how this model of interreligious friendship—with its focus on spiritual praxis—might be helpful to us today. What lessons can we glean from their discussions of prayer and meditation, faith and doubt, and the individual quest for meaning and life in community?