The Thomas Merton Center at Bellarmine University

ITMS 18TH General Meeting

June 22 - 25, 2023

St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN

"Sophia Comes Forth, Reaching"

Call for Presentations

Deadline for presentation proposals:
October 31, 2022
Click here for the call

“Now the Wisdom of God, Sophia, comes forth, reaching
from ‘end to end mightily’.”
Thomas Merton, Hagia Sophia

In his poem Hagia Sophia and other writings, Thomas Merton wrote of divine wisdom, often personified as Sophia. Representing both the Holy Spirit and the mystical idea of divine wisdom, the figure of Sophia played an important role in Thomas Merton’s spirituality and writing. This mystical image represents the divine in active terms, reaching into our souls and challenging us to new ways of living, of loving our neighbors, of standing for justice. Moreover, in Sophia Merton recognized an experience of God rendered in a feminine face. The significance of the divine feminine in Merton’s life and work connects aptly to the location of our gathering in 2023. Saint Mary’s College, a Catholic women’s liberal arts college, has long been a pioneering institution in women’s higher education, and intersected with Merton’s life in important ways. Merton corresponded with members of the Saint Mary’s community, including then-President Sr. Madeleva Wolff, and it was Saint Mary’s that first published Merton’s 1948 book What is Contemplation? More generally, Merton was shaped in important ways by women in his life — from his mother to the Baronness Catherine de Hueck Doherty to his longtime literary agent Naomi Burton Stone — and through his writings and correspondence engaged in extensive dialogue with women writers.

Program Committee

David G. Golemboski, Sioux Falls, SD (Chair)

Daniel Horan, O.F.M., Notre Dame, IN (Site Coordinator)

Jessica Coblentz, Notre Dame, IN
Emma McDonald, Towson, MD
Mark Meade, Jeffersonville, IN
David Orberson, New Albany, IN

Christopher Pramuk, Denver, CO
Kathleen Tarr, Anchorage, AK
Judith Valente, Normal, IL
Monica Weis, S.S.J., Rochester, NY