Apr 01, 12
Read in April, 2012
Marilynne Robinson's essays are personal and intellectual and about Christianity (or religion more generally), America present and past, liberalism, science, and economics. The themes are familiar from the Death of Adam, but hardly feel overworked here. As with the Death of Adam sometimes the essays felt like they wandered too far, but her language, bold argument, and turn of phrase make them a delight. They all seem to go after limits, whether historical, economic, political, critical (love her counterattack on the critics of Moses and the Old Testament), on the nature of the human, especially that created by materialist visions of the world. "We inhabit, we are part of, a reality for which explanation is much too poor and small." While this comment was made to her writing students it is also true of our political, religious, and economic discourse today in America. So while never perfect, these essays always serve to provoke and to raise a smile.