Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Merton, Prometheus, Sophia
The Trappist monk Thomas Merton is best remembered for his spiritual autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain and many other books on prayer and contemplation. His later writings, however, reveal a deep concern about the relationship between God and human freedom. Merton was particularly worried that obedience to God, traditionally understood as a central virtue, not constitute a form of authoritarianism that stripped humanity of the capacity for authenticity. Hence, he used the figure of Prometheus, long a symbol of rebellion against God, to challenge authoritarian theism and iconoclastic anti-theistic humanism. In the process, he deconstructed his own God-image away from a heteronomous authority towards something akin to the non-sovereign and “weak” theology of the contemporary religious turn in Continental philosophy.
Cousins, Patrick, "Prometheus and Promethean Theology in the Thought of Thomas Merton" (2015). Theses - ALL. 93.