Friday March the 11 th, at the University of Saint Anselmo in Rome, took place the studying afternoon with the topic Always Stretching Forward Toward Christ – Thomas Merton’s Restless Spiritual Journey. The works began at 3 p.m. with the address and preliminary speech of the rector Juan Javier Flores Arcas, followed by the speech of our president Maurizio Renzini who first explained the objectives and the activities of the Associazione Thomas Merton Italia and then he spoke about the modernity of the American trappist writer. Then Br. Bernard Sawichi, monk at saint Anselmo, ran on his essay about the topic « The monasticism of Thomas Merton as a Christological experience of the absurd ». Paolo Trianni, professor at Saint Anselmo University, went into « Interreligious dialogue and monasticism in Thomas Merton ». Mario Zaninelli, scientific coordinator of our Association, spoke about the first book of the Italian edition of Contemplation in a World of Action by Nerbini publisher in Florence. Then an unscheduled speech of Dom Jacques Briére, abbot at Tre Fontane monastery. In the end the English lecture by Jonathan Montaldo « Always Stretching Forward Toward Christ: Thomas Merton’s Restless Journey ». This one was translated in Italian by Maurizio Renzini and the people into the conference hall could read it on a screen. The studying afternoon ended with the projection of some parts of the new film about the American trappist writer and with a debate.
There were around eighty people very involved with the topics of the conference. We plan to publish the acts.