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Marilynne Robinson On Faith And Religion

Marilynne Robinson is one of the few professed Christians I recall reading since I started on the Time list.

She keeps her faith to herself for the most part, so it’s not something she beats you over the head with.

However, she did speak a little about her faith when The Paris Review interviewed her in 2008.

INTERVIEWER

Is religion a way to feel comforted in the face of death?

ROBINSON

Faith always sounds like an act of will. Frankly, I don’t know what faith in God means. For me, the experience is much more a sense of God. Nothing could be more miraculous than the fact that we have a consciousness that makes the world intelligible to us and are moved by what is beautiful.

INTERVIEWER

Someone once said that there has to be a problem with Christianity because four hundred denominations later they still can’t get it right.

ROBINSON

People in the churches worry about that, but would we be richer for the loss of Catholicism? Would we be richer for the loss of the Quakers? Isn’t it true that every one of these traditions expresses Christianity in a way that the other traditions could not? It’s prismatic.

Religion, however, has presented itself in some extremely unattractive forms. It has recruited people into excitements that don’t look attractive to their neighbors. People seem to be profoundly disposed toward religion, yet they’re not terribly good at it.

As a Christian myself, I completely agree with Robinson’s views here.

Simply look around the world, read the news, and you’ll see how terrible people of all faiths are at “religion.”

To my own Christian friends, I often wonder: If Jesus promoted peace, why are you always so angry? Why are you always protesting or boycotting or debating and arguing? It’s such a bad look.

More on Marilynne Robinson and her faith in the coming days.

(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

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11 Comments Post a comment
  1. I really appreciate your post. It got me thinking of things that I as a Christian should be doing and some I should change. Please take a look at my blog and follow as I will be going on a spiritual journey for the next 365 days. 365dwc.wordpress.com

    Like

    February 19, 2015
  2. I really love that “Prismatic” description of denominations. I don’t think I’ve ever looked at it that way.

    Like

    February 19, 2015
  3. Great post – and it made me like Marilynne Robinson even more than I already did.

    Like

    February 19, 2015
  4. inspiredbybooks #

    I agree too, & love the prism perspective. It is depressing when an angry Christian gives us a bad rap, but isn’t it also true that for every one of those there are many living out their faith in beautiful, selfless ways? The Mel Gibson episodes tend to get more press…not just in the media, but in our own focus/ conversation. I look forward to hearing more about Robinson, thank you!

    Like

    February 19, 2015
  5. emilymullaswilson #

    I love how Marilynne Robinson expresses her faith in original, thought-provoking ways without reaching for cute or edgy. In fear of straying past the boundaries of orthodoxy, some Christians talk about religion with strings of clichés. Others try a little too hard to make religion hip and land somewhere between desperate and awkward. Marilynne shows us a better path.

    Liked by 2 people

    February 19, 2015
  6. You can boil it down it to one question? Why are so many who call themselves Christan act like they follow Satan?

    Like

    February 19, 2015
  7. I think it’s scales and perspective. The whole damnation/salvation, forsaken and redeemer thing makes all human action seem very middle ground. To the secular observer, our extremes really frighten, because they are so far from the societal norm.

    Some people think nothing of a 100km commute, some work from home.

    Like

    February 20, 2015
  8. Obrigada pela postagem!

    Like

    February 20, 2015
  9. Reblogged this on MariaLDario's Blog and commented:
    Antropologia
    Religião

    Like

    February 20, 2015
  10. Reblogged this on eurekabatik.

    Like

    February 24, 2015
  11. questforlights #

    I really enjoyed this post. Great job and thank you for the new perspective! I am also a Christian. 😀

    Like

    February 24, 2015

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