Adam's Reviews > No Man Is an Island

No Man Is an Island by Thomas Merton
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's review
Feb 15, 2012

liked it
Read in January, 2012 — I own a copy

A good read, but might be more frustrating than enlightening depending on where you're coming from. Merton does a great job of describing the spiritual plight of humanity (particularly the plight of humans who cultivate no sense of the spirit), but his prescriptive assertions are too narrow to be of much use to anyone who isn't already a devout Christian. As a quasi-skeptic (and seeker of truth) with a history with religion, I found plenty to think about and relate to here, but also plenty to question and scratch my head over--Merton takes the mythology and language of Christianity for granted, for example, which precludes a deeper exploration of the human condition outside of that framework; also, out of nowhere there's a lot of focus on monkhood at one point, which for most readers is probably a bit too specific to be relevant. Overall, it has its dry patches, but it also has some really important things to say about human life, so definitely check it out if you're interested in religion and spirituality.
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