Sophfronia Scott speaks to Encountering Silence about her latest book, in which she explores her interest in the Trappist monk Thomas Merton.
What if we truly belong to each other? What if we are all walking around shining like the sun Mystic, monk, and activist Thomas Merton asked those questions over half a century ago. Writer Sophfronia Scott is asking them today.
Sophfronia Scott grew up in Lorain, Ohio, a hometown she shares with author Toni Morrison. She holds a BA in English from Harvard and an MFA in writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She began her career as an award-winning magazine journalist for Time and People.
In The Seeker and the Monk, Scott mines the extensive private journals of one of the most influential contemplative thinkers of the past for guidance on how to live in these fraught times. As a Black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited, and intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship, and love.
She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? Is there ever such a thing as a wrong answer to a spiritual question? How do we care about the brutality in the world while not becoming overwhelmed by it? By engaging in this lively discourse, readers will gain a steady sense of how to dwell more deeply within--and even to love--this despairing and radiant world.
Some of the resources and authors we mention in this episode:
Episode 132: Silence, the Seeker, and the Monk: A Conversation with Sophfronia Scott
Hosted by: Cassidy Hall
With: Carl McColman, Kevin Johnson
Guest: Sophfronia Scott
Date Recorded: March 15, 2021