VOLUME XI:2 July - December 2021

Father Jaechan Anselmo Park OSB, coordinator of the newly established Korean Commission of Dialogue Interrelgieux Monastique•Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (DIM•MID), has received the 25th  Korean Catholic Academic Research Award for his book 「토마스머튼의수행과만남」 (The Contemplative Discipline and Encounter of Thomas Merton). The award comes with a cash prize of  ₩5,000,000 (ca. $4180 / €3615).

The book is a translation of Thomas Merton’s Encounter with Buddhism and Beyond (Collegeville: Liturgical Press, 2019), for which he received the Thomas Merton Award from The International Thomas Merton Society (ITMS) in 2019. Park was the first Asian to receive this award, which is given to an individual who has written and published a work on Merton and his concerns that has brought provocative insight and fresh direction to Merton studies.  

Father Park, a monk of Saint Maurus and Saint Placidus Abbey in Waegwan, South Korea received his Th.D/S.T.D. from Regis College, University of Toronto, in 2019. He presently serves as Director of the St. Benedict Meditation Centre in Busan and is Prior of the small monastic community attached to it.

In its article announcing the award, the Korean Catholic Times (가톨릭신문) quoted Park as saying, “I am most grateful to God for receiving the research award. It indicates the desire and mission of the Korean church to promote the spirituality of Thomas Merton in Korea and Asia, and, more generally, to foster the spiritual growth of Korean Catholics.”

He went on to say, “The spirituality of Thomas Merton transcends cultures and religions. If you go deeper spiritually, you will see people with the heart of God and treat them with mercy and love. Deep spiritual experiences lead to interreligious dialogue. The contemplative dialogue of monks and contemplatives of different religions can be a symbolic witness to those who long for interreligious peace and spiritual awakening.”

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