The Root of War is Fear is an essay written by Thomas Merton in 1961 to engage on the on the issue about the struggle against war. The essay focuses on war itself, its causes and roots. Merton pursues his goal through the discussion of the psychological forces within us and in the society. According to him, the root of war is fear- fear to trust anything because even people do not trust themselves as they have stop believing in God.
The root of war is the fear of self and others which rooted from the inability to trust God. According to Merton, the undistinguished self-hatred which is pointed to others and the political concepts and views which we considered has a purer goal than others. In connection, Merton pursues his idea of spirituality of loving resistance, highlighting that a silent nature is not an assurance of achievement either as a contemplative or a peacemaker. Rather, being modest in a lighter sense means having an eschatological ethics about violence. Merton also stresses that peace in every man are different with each other. The idea of peace of a man differs from another man. And with these varying ideas of man, all man who prays for their idea of peace continues to be in doubt.
Thomas Merton was able to focus his idea of the root of war in a theological perspective. The discussions about ethics and morality within oneself and within the society prove to be present in almost all parts of the essay. Moreover, the involvement of God within the essay was highlighted as a concluding part of the essay which was theologically discussed.