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The life of Thomas Merton was, to a great extent, one of dialogue with people who were either distant or dead. While forging just such a relationship with him, the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams explores the mind and influence of Thomas Merton through essays on such topics as the connection Merton had with Paul Evdokimov, the Orthodox theologian, and Karl Barth, the Reformed theologian. Rowan also takes note of the impact of books on Mertonâs thought, spanning from Fyodor Dostoevsky and Dietrich Bonhoeffer to St. John of the Cross. Through his essays, Williams shows that he and Merton share the regard that Christian life without a contemplative dimension is incomplete and, furthermore, that a contemplative life is accessible not only to those living in monasteries but to anyone who seeks an âinteriorizedâ monasticism. The mystery of friendshipâan enduring relationship held together not only by affinity, shared questions, and common interests but also by the awareness that each can help the other in pilgrimageâis worthy of inclusion in the long list of additions to the Orthodox sacraments. As the bond between Rowan Williams and Thomas Merton bears witness, not all friendships depend on being of the same generation.