The Sophia Institute
Image is not available
Transforming from the Inside OUT
Humans Rising to Meet Our Environmental Crisis
Mepkin Abbey & Lance Hall
Friday & Saturday

Breakthrough to Wisdom and Peace: Thomas Merton’s Awakening to the Feminine Divine

Dr. Christopher Pramuk
Join with us as Dr. Christopher Pramuk explores the breakthrough of Wisdom-Sophia into the life and writings of Thomas Merton. In this presentation, Chris traces the broad outlines of Merton’s mystical-theological worldview and the genesis of his awakening to the feminine divine during a period of social unrest that Merton described as a “season of fury.” How did Merton’s encounter with divine Wisdom-Sophia both center and catalyze his extraordinary outreach to others and his radical commitment to peacemaking? Where do we see signs of her Presence, her call to peace, breaking through in our times?

Sophia Institute’s
Core Work

Cire Work

The Sophia Institute hosts some of the world’s foremost teachers, speakers and presenters of transformative thought that fosters integration of the sacred feminine and masculine for the transformation of self and society.

Social Justice Racial Equity Collabortive

We recognize the urgent need for systemic change around racial justice in Charleston. We are cognizant of the widely shared feeling that conversation is not enough and that we must join together in action.                                    

Environmental Justice:
Higher Ground

The Higher Ground is a diverse and inclusive collaborative of the climate concerned in greater Charleston from all walks of life, including non-profit professionals, spiritual and thought leaders, scientists, artists, and policy-makers.

Stay In Touch

Sign up to receive email updates from The Sophia Institute

“At Sophia Institute we are learning how to open our hearts. We are learning how to form. We are learning how to be great. We’re learning how to be grand and not grandiose. We’re learning how to live lives as sober, conscious, powerful adults, and not just kind of shrinking because of whatever forces have made us feel we are less than. We are not less than. We are sons and daughters of God. We are created in love, and we’re here to love. And with places like the Sophia Institute you don’t have an excuse not to take part.”

Marianne Williamson

“So I think one of the things that Sophia does beautifully is help people at those crucial moments, those moments where ground turns to ocean, and it’s not only where a person needs shelter at times but also where they are just about to blossom and take a creative step, that’s not only going to be a gift to themselves, but also to their loved ones and to their greater society. It’s this invitation to the generosity inside a person, the generous ability to give of themselves in whatever form that is that I think is at the heart of our being here in this world, and I’m very glad that Sophia Institute is here in this world and thank you for the opportunity to come here and work with you every year.”

David Whyte

“Carolyn Rivers has her hand on the pulse of the emerging sacred feminine. Rightly she sees this emergence not as an end in itself, but one that brings the gifts of the feminine into an eternal movement that includes both male and female. With the Sophia Institute, Carolyn has created a unique and intimate container for creativity, beauty, and intelligence, warmed by southern hospitality, to foster the dance of being fully human. The arts, music, our relationship with a divine center, our natural inclination towards inclusivity, diversity, and social justice, all find a place in Carolyn Rivers’ garden. Let yourself blossom in this exquisite container called the Sophia Institute. I loved teaching there.”

China Galland, Author

“The Sophia Institute is a sacred grove, a source and beacon in today’s world for
transformation and spiritual growth. It’s a gathering place for those on the journey, a
place committed to awakening the conscious heart in all of us. In my time here, I’ve seen
this happen. The Sophia Institute works like a greenhouse for the soul.

Mark Nepo



341 East Bay Street (Offices only)
Charleston, SC 29401