The Merton Seasonal
I spent most of 2019 researching Thomas Merton and specifically how his work continues to influence Catholics who practice yoga in the twenty-first century. His effort in mysticism, contemplative prayer, and interreligious dialogue directly correlate to the popularization of Catholics using yoga as a spiritual practice.
I wrote this article based on my years of researching the intersections of Catholic theology and yogic philosophy. I always received a lot of negative feedback, so this was my blanket response to those who see yoga as incompatible, particularly addressing the argument of yoga as not a religion
Female Purity in Hindu Philosophy
My final paper for Aleksandar Uskokov's Indian Philosophy in Sanskrit Literature course evaluated the ethical and philosophical dimensions of female purity in the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and the Laws of Manu. Through this project I found a new interest in gender and sexuality studies within my study of Hinduism.
Reading Between the Lines: Bhakti Yoga in the Bhagavad Gita(s)
I wrote this paper in Indian Philosophy taught by Aleksandar Uskokov. Here I survey bhakti yoga interpretations in three translations of the Bhagavad Gita. Laurie Patton, Stephen Mitchell, and A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote the translation mentioned.
Ed and Lorraine Warren’s Contribution to Paranormal Entertainment and Religious Commodification
For the fall 2021 semester, I enrolled in Kenneth Minkema's Witchcraft and Witch-hunting in Early Modern Europe and America. This research paper addresses the Warrens' popularity in light of religious-turned-secularized paranormal consumerism.
What primarily prompted Thomas Merton’s deep attraction to the Buddhist tradition?
Through my research stated above, I noticed Thomas Merton's particular interest in Buddhism above other Asian traditions he familiarized himself with. After taking Dr. Paula Arai's course on Buddhist traditions, I concluded that his interest came from the Buddhist perspective on suffering.
Image by Charl Folscher via Unsplash