Reflections from TMC Director

By Gabriel McMorland The Thomas Merton Center started out the new year with a spirited protest against wage theft in high winds and single digit temperatures. As I write this, we’re preparing to head back out into Pittsburgh’s icy streets for a rally against the criminalization of our public transit riders and for yet another... Continue Reading →

Has the American State Been Captured?

By Neil Cosgrove Americans often express concern that their government has become too much in the thrall of ideologies, of ways of interpreting the world so extreme that the ideologues in question cannot acknowledge, much less accommodate, different viewpoints.  But what if that isn’t the main source of dysfunction in our government?  What if the... Continue Reading →

Some Sort of Justice

By Emily Deferrari At midnight the bells began. A cacophony of Chinese wind chimes, and hand held bells, and sleigh bells, Sunday morning church bells, the sound of Eastern gongs, large bells and small bells; every bell imaginable was ringing in a great explosion of jubilant madness through the cold darkness. Slowly the bells ebbed,... Continue Reading →

Jerusalem’s Recent History

By Emily Deferrari Some brief and relatively recent history: From the 7th into the 20th century, Jerusalem was administratively linked to Constantinople, the capital of the Turkish Empire. In 1917, during the First World War, which spelled the end of the Turkish (Ottoman) Empire, Jerusalem fell under the control of the British and remained so... Continue Reading →

Class Cluelessness in America

By Jim McCarville Joan Williams book, White Working Class: Overcoming Class Cluelessness in America, has a lot to teach about the consequences of a “professional privilege” that disadvantages what she calls the “white-working class”. It was a hard lesson for me to absorb. I suspect it will trouble many readers as well. She acknowledges that... Continue Reading →

Stock Markets: Bad for Workers’ Fiscal Health

By Neil Cosgrove Some weeks ago, a letter-to-the-editor appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette attempting to debunk the claim “that only rich people and corporations benefit from a healthy stock market.” The writer asked readers to recognize the value of IRAs and pension funds that supplement Social Security for “working class and blue-collar workers.” “Shame on... Continue Reading →

The Practice of Non-Violent Communication

By Kathleen Gerace The practice of nonviolent communication has never seemed more urgent – or relevant-- than it does at the present moment in our history. Before the latest tragic mass shooting in Texas, and before Las Vegas, and before Charlottesville, and before Ferguson, and even before Columbine, there was Detroit. From June 20th to... Continue Reading →

Black History Month

By Molly Rush I recently began thinking about a number of black activists, many of whom may be forgotten. I came to know some of them through my work with the Catholic Interracial Council (CIC), and then the Merton Center. Many were a part of movements past whose work should not be forgotten. I'm sure... Continue Reading →

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