Thursday, December 29th, 2011
A piece by Marilynne Robinson recently appeared in the New York Times Sunday Book Review. A Calvinist, her books are as gentle as they are somber; (I haven’t read Home, but Gilead and Housekeeping are worth the time it would take to read them). She certainly isn’t the only prominent writer to note the literary significance of the Bible (as if it needed noting) (cf. Robert Alter, Northrop Frye, and George Steiner). But it is agreeable to see it in print. (And it’s something of an enticing advance for next Monday’s lecture on Biblical Poetics). Anyway, here’s a snippet of the full article:
In our strange cultural moment it is necessary to make a distinction between religious propaganda and religious thought, the second of these being an attempt to do some sort of justice to the rich difficulties present in the tradition. The great problem for Christianity is always the humility of the figure in whom God is said to have been incarnate, and the insistence of the tradition that God is present in the persons of the despised and rejected.