I'm helping out the Thomas Merton Society of Canada update their website (I'm implementing Movable Type for them, among other things). You can read a short biography of Mr. Merton here. In short, he was a particularly unusual monk and writer. He also has the enviable footnote of dying 'suddenly, electrocuted by a malfunctioning fan, while he was attending his first international monastic conference near Bangkok, Thailand, in 1968.'
I take it Merton spent much of his monastic life at the Abbey of Gethsemani in Trappist, Kentucky. I recently checked out this abbey's Web site. Not only do they have a super-cool URL: monks.org, but they've got a really fine looking site. Check it out, and while you're there, buy some cheesecake or fudge.
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