In this episode we speak with author and director of creative writing at Alma College, Sophfronia Scott. We speak with Sophfronia about how her faith has been shaped by the author, monk and mystic, Thomas Merton.
Having struggled to connect with Merton through his autobiography, Sophfronia immersed herself in his journals, and there she found a mentor, friend and kindred Spirit. So we ask her what we can learnt from Merton about being “spiritual but not religious”, the relationship between action and contemplation, inner work, sexuality and more.

After the interview, Nomad hosts Tim Nash and Anna Robinson reflect on how the life and theology of Merton might shape their own faith journey.

Interview starts at 15m 36s

Image used with permission


Sophfronia Scott


The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton


“‘Church’ is not one thing. It is about finding a space where you feel supported in your faith and in the exploration of your spirituality. That search is not going to be easy. But I think it’s worth the effort.”

“That is a key aspect of meditation – to recognize your thoughts and to see what it is, to look at it, and to let it go.”

“They say children are more resilient than we realize; it is true. If we get out of the way and listen to them – and help them on the path that they are already walking – we can just learn so much.”

“I don’t think it’s valuable to look at the quality of a death. It’s important to look at the life and what we learn from the way that someone lived their life.”


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  1. Mavis Moon Feb 24, 2022

    In the discussion after the interview with Ms. Scott, Tim talked about the church or the monastery where Merton lived seeming like a very restrictive place and Tim wondered why Merton would stick with it. I wondered if you might want to have Kathleen Norris on your show. Her experience with a monastery was very different. She wrote about it in one of her books, *The Cloister Walk*.

    • I haven’t heard of Kathleen Norris, she sounds interesting. I’ll check her out. Thanks, Mavis. Tim

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