Kathleen P. Deignan

Professor of Religious Studies

Founder, The Sister Kathleen Deignan, CND Institute for Earth and Spirit at Iona

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Spellman Hall, Second Floor
(914) 633-2590 (914) 633-2590


  • Ph.D., Historical Theology, Fordham University, 1986
  • MA, Christian Spirituality, Fordham University, 1980
  • BA, English, Sacred Heart University, 1971
  • Program in Spiritual Direction, Fordham University, 1990

Sr. Kathleen Deignan’s current interests are in the areas of classical and contemporary spirituality with a focus on creation theology and spirituality. Her work is devoted to transmitting the spiritual and intellectual legacies of Thomas Merton and her mentor Thomas Berry in a variety of academic, artistic and pastoral formats. A GreenFaith Fellow, Dr. Deignan completed a two-year post-doctoral training for religious environmental leadership. She is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the International Thomas Merton Society and the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality.


Christ Spirit: The Eschatology of Shaker Christianity.
Scarecrow Press, 1992. (296 pages)


To Celebrate These Sacred Mysteries: The Crow Series

A Folio Edition of the Iconography of John Batista Giuliani

Giuliani Foundation for Religion and the Arts
Limited Edition, 1999

Edited Volumes

Thomas Merton: When The Trees Say Nothing   Writings on Nature
Edited with an introduction
Sorin Books, 2003 (187 pages)
Second Edition
(selected as the Book of the Month by Spiritual Books Associates;
3rd on the Catholic Best Seller list, Summer 2003; 26,300 copies to date 7.09)

Thomas Merton: A Book of Hours
Edited with an introduction
Sorin Books, January 2007 (192 pages )
(selected as the Book of the Month by Spiritual Books Associates;
2nd on the Catholic Best Seller List, Summer 2007;
In its 6th printing one year after publication; 44,000 copies to date 7.09)

The Mythos Gate: New Poems by Ann Deignan
Edited with an introduction
Schola December 2002

Migration: A Book of Poems by Ann Deignan
Edited with an introduction
Schola December 2005

Thomas Berry: A Book of Days 
Edited with an introduction
Sorin Books, 2011
In progress

Chapter in Edited Volume

"The Challenge of Peace: Prayer in the Nuclear Age"

Praying as a Christian

The Best of the Review Vol.7, pp. 265-280
David L. Fleming, SJ, Editor
St. Louis: Review for Religious, 2000
Isbn 0-924768-08-8

"Within the Shadow and the Disguise: Thomas Merton's Sacramental Vision"
Beyond the Shadow and the Disguise: Exploring Merton's Spiritual Insight
Angus Stuart, Editor
The Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland
Arrowsmith, Bristol  2007  (in preparation)



"Learning to Ignite: Teaching Spirituality to College Students",
The Way Supplement (Autumn 1995) pp. 100 - 111

"Road to Rapture: Thomas Merton's Itinerarium mentis in Deum"
The Franciscan Review Vol. 55 (1998) pp. 281 – 298

"Le Temps Vierge: Thomas Merton's Prayer of Presence" 
Thomas Merton Annual  (2007) in preparation

"Love for the Paradise Mystery: Thomas Merton, Contemplative Ecologist"
Cross Currents  Vol. 58  No. 4  (December 2008) pp 545 - 569
"Seraphic Vision:  Angels of Bonaventure's  Itinerarium and Rilke's Elegies"
in preparation


"Moment of Supreme Crisis: Apocalypse of the Poor and Oppressed,"
Sisters Today (July/August 1984, Vol. 55, No. 10) pp. 586 - 591

"The Challenge of Peace: Prayer in the Nuclear Age,"
Review for Religious (May/June 1985, Vol. 44, No. 3) pp. 368 - 380
Reprinted in Pax Christi USA (Summer 1988, Vol. XII, No. 2)

"In Visitation to Creation" CND Dialogue (November 1995) p 1 – 2

"A Feast of Wonder: On the Liturgical Celebration of Epiphany" 
Sacred Journey: The Journal of the Fellowship of Prayer   (December 1999) pp. 23-29.
"Sacred Icons: John Giuliani"
Christianity and the Arts (Fall 2000, Vol. 7, No.4) pp. 32-33.

"Spiritual Community: 'Tis the Gift -  Shaker Spirituality"

Sacred Journey: The Journal of Fellowship in Prayer (December 2001) pp. 35-39

"Thomas Merton: Soul of the Age"
Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Bulletin  (April 2005)   pp 27-32
Celebrating Thomas Merton's Ninetieth Birthday
"One Ordained to Praise"
Foreword to The Mattawa Song Cycle  Music by Carolyn Brown Senier
Haley Press, MA  2005  pp  xix-xxii

"Immaculata: Our True Face Before We Were Born"
Monastic Interreligious Dialogue Bulletin
Bulletin 76, January 2006

"The Patient Architecture of Peace"
Merton Seasonal  (Spring 2007)

"The Benedictine Charism in the Ecological Age:
Thomas Merton's Vision and Challenge"
Proceedings of the American Academy of Religion
Fall 2008


M. Basil Pennington.
Thomas Merton My Brother: His Journey to Freedom, Compassion and Final Integration.
New York: New City Press, 1996. 207 pp.
Reviewed in DIAKONIA. Vol. XXIX, No. 3, December 1996 pp. 242 – 243

Michael Higgins

Heretic Blood: An Audiobiography of Thomas Merton

Canadian Broadcasting Company, 1998
Reviewed in The Thomas Merton Seasonal, Summer 1999 pp. 33-36
Tom Ryan, editor
Reclaiming the Body in Christian Spirituality 
Paulist Press 2004
Reviewed for Ecumenical Trends Vol. 34 No. 11 December 2005

Paul Pearson, editor 
Thomas Merton.  Seeking Paradise: The Spirit of the Shakers           
Orbis 2003
Reviewed for The Merton Journal 12.1 (Easter 2005): 43-45.
Great Britain

Tom Ryan
Yoga Prayer: An Embodied Christian Spiritual Practice
Video program Sounds True 2004

Angus Stuart, editor
Across the Rim of Chaos: Thomas Merton's Prophetic Vision
Papers Presented at the Fifth General Conference of the
Thomas Merton Society of Great Britain and Ireland
Woodbrooke Quaker Study Centre,
Birmingham, 2004
Reviewed for The Thomas Merton Seasonal Spring 2006 Vol. 31, No.1  pp 26-30

Paul Pearson, editor
A Meeting of Angels: The Correspondence of Thomas Merton with Edward Deming and Faith Andrews
Frankfort, KY: Broadstone Books, 2008
Reviewed for The Merton Seasonal: A Quarterly Review  Vol. 34, No. 2 Summer 2009, pp. 36-38.

Manuscript Review/Reader/Editor

James Finley.  Christian Meditation: Experiencing the Presence of God
Harper San Francisco. 2005

Mary Margaret Funk.  Humility Matters for Practicing the Spiritual Life
Continuum 2005


"A Thin Place: Three Days of Harmony in Belfast"
US Update: Newsletter of the World Community for Christian Meditation
Volume 3, Issue 4, Winter 2001 p.1

The Sister Deignan Institute for Earth and Spirit serves the emergence of an ecological civilization to revive and protect our common home through transformative environmental education, spiritual animation, and creative celebration.

Schola Ministries is a cooperative venture in service of the contemplative and liturgical arts that provides a ministry platform to produce and share the musical compositions and creative works of Kathleen Deignan, C.N.D. and other Schola artists.