Karen deVries's Reviews > Gilead

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson
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's review
Jun 23, 2012

it was amazing
Read from September 05 to 10, 2013

I'm glad I finally overcame my resistances to reading this one as it's wonderfully written. I appreciated the way in which Robinson captures the spirit of a prayerful, almost Nietzschean, meditation that both reflects on and creates knowledge. Because one of Robinson's projects is a defense of present-day Protestantisms (those descended particularly from Calvin), it was both disconcerting and healing for me to digest her work. I've found the traditions to be incredibly harmful in my own life. Although she doesn't really address the sexism or homophobia structuring those churches, the strength of her book is in the wonderful vision and theology of being with the mystery while simultaneously being very human. Contemporary Calvinist churches would benefit greatly from having more folks like Marilynne Robinson in their pews. In the meantime, her book has helped me imagine the many forms that Calvinism can take and not just the materially impoverished version I grew up with. Lastly, I enjoyed the way in which her narrative worked within the tradition of the story of the Prodigal Son. Toni Morrison's most recent book does this as well, and they both broaden the story to grapple with race in mid-20th century America.

I listened to the audio version and need to run out and buy the paper version so that I can revisit some of the interesting theological and societal observations she makes.

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Reading Progress

09/05/2013 marked as: currently-reading
09/10/2013 marked as: read

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