Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Half Title, Title Page, Copyright

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. v-vi

read more

Series Foreword

Patrick J. Deneen

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

Those who undertake a study of American political thought must attend to the great theorists, philosophers, and essayists. Such a study is incomplete, however, if it neglects American literature, one of the greatest repositories of the nation’s political thought and teachings. ...

read more

Introduction. The Mystery of Experience: Marilynne Robinson’s Political Theory

Shannon L. Mariotti, Joseph H. Lane Jr.

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-18

Something about Marilynne Robinson’s voice seems so authentic as to be alien. In her fiction, her characters, towns, homes, and their happenings are so real, so grounded, so true, and so slowly, quietly, and beautifully ordinary that they seem to come to us from a different time and place. And the thinkers, themes, and topics she writes about in her essays have an honestly unfashionable quality to them. ...

Part I. The Struggle to Live in Democratic Community: Home, Wilderness, Age, and Race

read more

1. The Housekeeper of Homelessness: The Democratic Ethos of Marilynne Robinson’s Novels and Essays

Shannon L. Mariotti

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-56

Contemporary democratic theorists have tended to see the ideological space of “home” as something dangerous, while ascribing democratic value to states of psychic “homelessness.” For example, Bonnie Honig characterizes “home” as a place removed from political involvement, as a space of “safety and withdrawal from the tumult of politics.”1 ...

read more

2. Our Home in the Wilderness: The American Experience with Wilderness and Frontier Democracy in Marilynne Robinson’s Fiction and Essays

Joseph H. Lane Jr.

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 57-90

In this chapter, I explore “wilderness” as a concept in Marilynne Robinson’s fiction and essays. I argue that Robinson situates her characters and her thought in the wilderness, or, perhaps more precisely, she reflects upon those who occupy the permeable frontier that divides American habitation from the wild. ...

read more

3. Gilead’s Two Models of Action against Racial Injustice

Alex Zamalin, Daniel Skinner

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 91-112

Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead helps theorize how citizens should act against racial injustice. This is unveiled in exquisite detail through the perspective of a dying septuagenarian preacher, John Ames, as a memoir directed to his seven-year-old son about his relationships in the fictional town of Gilead, Iowa, known for its abolitionism in the nineteenth century. ...

read more

4. “In Those Old Days”: The Old and the Aging in Marilynne Robinson’s Gilead and Home

Emily C. Nacol

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 113-138

In her novels Gilead and Home, Marilynne Robinson explores the meaning of oldness as a quality of persons, places, and objects. As interpreters have noted, the “old” holds a significant place in Robinson’s work, and she infuses it with an array of meanings and possibilities. Especially in these two novels, which A. O. Scott aptly characterizes as “twinned portraits of . . . the godly, elderly patriarchs” ...

read more

5. “Disabled and Dangerous”: The Individual and Society in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping

Lorraine Krall McCrary

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-164

In Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping, the character Sylvie is portrayed as eccentric to the degree that the reader is left wondering about her sanity. Yet the topic of mental illness and the broader category of disability has been neglected by the novel’s readers. This lacuna causes us to miss one of Robinson’s central themes of the novel—that Sylvie’s difference, perceived by the townspeople as mental illness—is potentially beneficial to the town, ...

Part II. Faith and Skepticism: Religion, Secularism, and Humanism

read more

6. The Ministerial Exception

Matthew Scherer

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 167-194

Marilynne Robinson’s fiction quietly answers one of the great questions posed with particular urgency to our generation: What place is there for faith, and for the faithful, in American public life? Her answer is strictly personal and enmeshed with highly individualized practices of reading and writing, but it addresses the fate of American religion and its connection to the fate of American democracy. ...

read more

7. The Death of Jeremiah? Marilynne Robinson and Covenant Theology

Christie L. Maloyed

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 195-222

American Puritanism has been marked by the rhetorical tradition of the jeremiad. Often delivered as fiery sermons, jeremiads were used as a rebuke against moral decline and as a call for repentance and reformation. Early American Puritans believed that God had charged them with a special spiritual and moral mission and that if they failed to uphold their end of the bargain, God would punish ...

read more

8. Transcendence and Human Purpose: Marilynne Robinson and the Travails of Liberal Calvinism

Ralph C. Hancock

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 223-252

From Marilynne Robinson’s essays (especially The Death of Adam) we learn that she finds herself in an awkward situation, politically: A liberal Calvinist who does not flinch from pointing up the affinities between secular liberal elitism and “Stalinism,” she also distances herself clearly from traditional conservatism.1 ...

read more

9. The Romance of the Self: Marilynne Robinson’s Existential Humanism

Anna Hadfield, Roger Berkowitz

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 253-272

In 1933, a document entitled “A Humanist Manifesto” was published in a small but burgeoning American magazine called the New Humanist. The manifesto—which was cosigned by more than thirty writers, Unitarian ministers, and academics, including the philosopher John Dewey—announced a “new religion” forged from “the materials of the modern world.” ...

read more

10. Merism and the Mermaid in a Ship’s Cabin: A Conversation with Marilynne Robinson

Shannon L. Mariotti, Joseph H. Lane Jr.

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 273-300

We conducted this interview on September 19, 2014, in Marilynne Robinson’s Iowa City home, an inviting space where one is surrounded by books on all sides and photographs that hold significance for her. The interview was done toward the end of our publication process, with all of the essays completed and the book nearly ready to send to press. ...

Selected Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 301-304

List of Contributors

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 305-306

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 307-318

Series Titles

pdf iconDownload PDF