In The Fragrance of God Vigen Guroian journeys both through the year's changing seasons and through the course of his personal life as he and his family leave their home in Maryland to settle down afresh near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. An avid gardener, Vigen thoughtfully reflects upon leaving his old garden behind in order to cultivate the new one, and discusses this process as an emblem of the Christian journey through life, marked both by bitter losses and sweet new blessings. While deeply personal, The Fragrance of God vividly unfolds the great biblical themes of the grandeur of God's creation, the senses as "paths" to experiencing God, and the garden as a place of birth, death, and renewal. Abundant with citations from Guroian's beloved church fathers from the Orthodox tradition and replete with theological reflection, The Fragrance of God will lead readers down a path of deeper insight into the creation and the Creator.
In this literary gem Vigen Guroian chronicles not merely the changing seasons but the course of his own life as he and his family move from Maryland to a new home near the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Leaving the old garden behind and cultivating another garden become an emblem of our journey through life, marked as it is by both bitter losses and sweet new blessings.
While deeply personal, The Fragrance of God vividly unfolds the great biblical themes of the grandeur of God’s creation, the senses as paths” to experiencing God, and the garden as a place” of birth, death, and renewal.
Laced throughout with quotations from Guroian’s beloved church fathers and replete with theological reflection, The Fragrance of God will lead readers down a path of deeper insight into the creation and the Creator.
Vigen Guroian is Professor of Religious Studies in OrthodoxChristianity at the University of Virginia inCharlottesville. He tends a large perennial and vegetablegarden with his wife, June, in Culpeper, Virginia. Hisbooks include Inheriting Paradise: Meditations onGardening, Life's Living toward Dying (both Eerdmans),and Tending the Heart of Virtue: How Classic StoriesAwaken a Child's Moral Imagination (Oxford).
Dallas Morning News
"A remarkable distillation of a man's insight after seasons of toil and delight in many gardens a reverently tended bed of wisdom drawn from poetry, legend, the Bible, and years of musing."
"A lovely slim volume. . . A reasoned yet passionate window into why gardening is true soul-work."
LOGOS: Journal of Eastern Christian Studies
"If Vigen Guroian did not exist, it would be necessary for Orthodox theology in North America to invent him."
author of The End of Nature
"Vigen Guroian's fine book is proof that Christians would do well to spend more time outdoors, in the one great megachurch that operates as a planet-scale museum of divine intent."
author of Gardening Life and My Father's Garden
"Vigen Guroian, a gifted storyteller, shares his own constant passion for digging in the dirt amid life's many changes, reminding us of the universal power and appeal of gardening, that wondrous journey toward our own Paradise rich with plants, stories, beauty, peace, and spirituality."
Roberta C. Bondi
author of Memories of God
"This is a lovely book, shimmering with the very beauty of God."
The Washington Post
"Some gardeners like to show off their dahlias or tomatoes. Vigen Guroian prefers to speak of garden relationships connections to his ancestors and the days of his youth, with the natural order of the world, with his centuries-old religious heritage."
Barbara Brown Taylor
author of When God Is Silent
"Even those with no dirt under their fingernails may find comfort and challenge in this testament to the resilience of divine life."
The Washington Times
"A book that's a must when one has time to ponder, to think over the quotes from various literature greats, obscure saints and Armenian folk tales."
author of The Open Door
"Earthy in all the best senses, The Fragrance of God recalls us to the beauty of creation. Guroian is expert at demolishing the kind of spirituality that gets overly spiritualized; he reminds us that God fills and blesses this blooming, growing, changing world."
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