The Paradise Man according to Thomas Merton

Young Adult - Religious Theme
196 Pages
Reviewed on 08/04/2019
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Author Biography

Linhxuan Vu or Fr. Peter Dat Tien Vu, a priest and Cistercian monk graduated M.Div. (1983) and M.A. in Theology (1987) from Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology at Graduate Theologian Union in Berkeley, California. After some years being Sub-Novice Master at Thien Phuoc Cistercian Abbey in Vietnam, He served in Chaplain Team at Retreat House of Assumption Abbey in Ava, Missouri for 7 years. Recently he was assigned to initiate a Cistercian community in Aptos, Monterey, California since 2018.The book “The Paradise Man” began with a thesis written for Dat ’s M.A. degree in 1986 under the title: “The Recovery of Paradise : A Search for the Self according to Thomas Merton.” After graduation he stored the thesis in his book shelves. Twenty-five years later he drew the thesis out and reread pages, he said to himself “It is a sin against humanity if I continue wastefully to bury these important and useful thoughts of Thomas Merton in a book case!” Since then the book was soon developed from the fourth chapter of the thesis and published on October 16, 2018. It was also translated by himself into Vietnamese language with title “Nguoi Coi Dia Dang theo Thomas Merton” and published on August 14, 2017. Since publishing the book he feels loving life strangely and readers of his book also feel life full of joy and love because the world around us is truly a paradise as fresh as that of Adam and Eve.

    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Paradise Man According to Thomas Merton is a short work of religious discussion aimed at readers of all ages and was penned by author Linhxuan Vu. Taking the original concept of the biblical Garden of Eden, and the suffering of humanity since its leaving the garden, Vu re-explains the garden as a metaphor in modern life for the paradise we all seek inside ourselves. Written in part as a self-help guide through discovering one’s own faith in the Christian God, this work explains Thomas Merton’s philosophy of achieving paradise whilst living, but cutting away earthly ego-driven desires and opening ourselves to the goodness of God.

Written for readers in all walks of life, whether they are devout in their daily practices or not, author Linhxuan Vu approaches God from both a philosophical and devout lens, using the real-world realistic principles of Thomas Merton as a guide. The work is well organized with quotations to support the arguments of Merton and the explanations given by Vu, strengthening the concept with every passing chapter. The tone is both instructional and inspirational, attempting to evoke a sense that paradise is indeed a real feeling which can be achieved by living humans, through the toil of creating an ‘attitude of the heart’ and accepting God’s love into their lives. Overall, The Paradise Man According to Thomas Merton presents an intelligent meshing of modern and traditional takes on Christian devotion and belief, and would certainly be a useful read to anyone seeking comfort and the need to fill the emptiness in their lives.