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Marilynne Robinson On Faith And Religion

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

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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