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Showing posts from March 5, 2017

Introducing Marilynne Robinson

On the First Sunday in Lent (5 th of March) Philip Harvey led a Lenten study group at St. Peter’s Church, Eastern Hill, Melbourne, on the essay ‘Grace’ in her book ‘The Givenness of Things’ [1], opening with these words of introduction about the author. Marilynne Robinson has existed as a name at the periphery of my vision for years. She has written some acclaimed novels, none of which I have read. The most famous is ‘Gilead’, a story about the memories of a Congregationalist minister in the town of Gilead, Iowa. This tells me she is preoccupied with American Protestant religion and also that she is a creative thinker about the world as she finds it. I also know that the name of this town is biblical, a reminder of the saying initiated in the Book of Jeremiah, “There is a balm in Gilead.” That is, healing is possible for those who are afflicted, broken, alienated. Even in time of exile, desolation or despair, hope is opened up. I expect that hope is a main subject of her