Thomas Merton exhibit to open at St. Andrew’s United Church and Centre for Peace

Great photography coming to Golden

Rev. Judith Hardcastle

St. Andrew’s United Church & Centre for Peace

An exhibition of 35 black and white photographs by Thomas Merton from the Collections of the Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky will open to the public at St. Andrew’s United Church & Centre for Peace on Monday, August 8 until Monday, September 5.

These photographs invite us to an “aesthetic illumination” in which we see the “mundane” and the “spiritual” as one. As Merton writes, Zen “seeks not to explain but to pay attention, to become aware, to be mindful; in other words to develop a certain kind of consciousness…” It is this experience to which Merton invites us to “come and see” as we view these photographs.

Who was Thomas Merton? In his lifetime, he was hailed as a prophet and censured for his outspoken social criticism. For 27 years Thomas Merton was a Trappist monk at the Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani in Kentucky where he became an eloquent spiritual writer and contemplative as well as a poet and peace activist. Merton studied Eastern religions, especially Zen Buddhism, as a way of deepening his contemplative Christian practices—and became friends with the Dalai Lama and Thich Nhat Hanh. Merton was also a visual artist of considerable talent exploring drawing and calligraphy and, as reflected in this exhibition, photography.

Born in Prades, France, on January 31, 1915, Merton was educated at Cambridge University (England) and Columbia University (New York City). He died accidentally in Bangkok on December 10, 1968 at the age of 53. A Hidden Wholeness: The Zen Photography of Thomas Merton is co-sponsored by the Thomas Merton Society of Canada and the Centre for Peace at St. Andrew’s United Church.


The exhibit opening reception will be held on Monday, August 8 from 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church & Centre for Peace, 901 11th Avenue South in Golden.

Free Public Talk on Merton’s Zen Photography: Monday, August 8 @ 7:30 pm at St. Andrew’s United Church & Centre for Peace. Speaker: Dr. Paul M. Pearson, Director and Archivist at The Thomas Merton Center, Bellarmine University, Louisville, Kentucky.

Exhibit Hours: Tuesday to Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm or by calling the church office @ 250-344-6117 to arrange an appointment.