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Inheriting Paradise: Meditations on Gardening

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  87 ratings  ·  9 reviews
The garden is a personal place of retreat and delight and labor for many people. Gardening helps us collect ourselves, much as praying does. For rich and poor - it makes no difference - a garden is a place where body and soul are in harmony. In Inheriting Paradise Vigen Guroian offers an abundant vision of the spiritual life found in the cultivation of God's good creation. ...more
Paperback, 120 pages
Published April 14th 1999 by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. (first published April 1st 1999)
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Stephen Case
Jun 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
The rain over the past several days has meant the plants in my meager garden have grow wild, chaotic, threatening to slip beyond the control of a weeding hand. It doesn’t help that I’m already a bit of a lazy gardener. It’s important for me to have growing things in the ground-- my ground-- every season, but I don’t spend time each day in the garden. I kind of let things-- cucumbers and tomatoes, mainly-- run riot.

I have two shallow raised beds in the backyard. This fall I may add a third. One o
Sep 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
INHERITING PARADISE, Meditations on Gardening. Vigen Guroian. 1999

Dear Vera,
I sat down to read this book, which I did only because you gave it to me. Gardening, like fish, is [are?] alien to me for vastly different reasons. I kill anything green which comes near to me should the plant become dependent on me. But your sense of prayer led me to read this little book. It will not be among my favorites but every so often something struck me as God is wont to do with our realizing his presence in bit
May 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Guroian's meditations on gardening are charmingly well written, warm and often heartfelt. This was a pleasant read but very much a missed opportunity.
I thought there'd be a lot more flesh on the bare bones of what is a welcome thesis.
I was expecting something more substantial and theologically rigorous, which I know regrettably that Vigen is capable of.

There are better works out there around this and similar topics- Wendell Berry's and Norman Wirzba's for example- so I'll rate this against th
Sep 18, 2017 rated it liked it
I did not realize the author was a theology professor and so this book was not the gardening book I thought it was but more one of spiritual (or religious) thoughts on gardening. I was disappointed....wanted something more secular.
Fr. Ted
Apr 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
I did find his thinking through faith within a year of a life of a garden to be refreshing and poetically appealing. I've enjoyed other things Guroian has written. Truth can be expressed in the mundane life of a garden - or perhaps like at the Transfiguration of Christ, we can see eternal truths revealed through the garden because God intended it that way from the beginning.
Apr 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Steve by: Krista Tippett On Being
Shelves: uborrow
This book has some really great sections that grabbed me. I now have a better appreciation in my understanding of why gardening mirrors the seasons of life. I hope to experience this in practice the coming spring, summer, fall and winter.
David Kern
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a relatively brief, but entirely beautiful book of meditations, a book that even non-gardeners should read. spiritual meditations through the metaphor of the garden, and deeply moving at times.

First read.
Jan 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
I read this book in about an hour's time. It was an interesting concept: putting gardening within a parallel spiritual analogy.
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this. As a gardener, I found myself saying, "Yes, exactly!" so many times. A wonderful little book.
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Vigen Guroian resides with his wife June Vranian in Culpeper, Virginia, where he mostly tends to his large perennial and vegetable gardens. June is an Interior Designer. Vigen and June have two children. Their son Rafi is 28 years of age, a graduate of Hampden-Sydney College, and employed at Cox Newspapers in Washington D.C. Their daughter Victoria is 24 years old, a graduate of Washington and Lee ...more
“I think if we all gardened more, they and all of the other birds that fly in the air above and light in my garden below would be better off. I know that God values them no less than I do. So when I plant in spring I also hope to taste of God in fruit of summer sun and sight of feathered friends.” 4 likes
“My son Rafi is enchanted with cyberspace. But we are not disembodied mind or spirit, we are our bodies - cruising the Internet won't teach us that. It may even trick us into thinking that having a body and a place is not important. Gardening teaches us differently. I do not mean industrial mechanized farming, I mean the kind of gardening that any one of us can do with his hands and feet and the simplest tools.” 1 likes
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