Marilynne Robinson on Living Faithfully in this Political Moment

Click here to watch online Friday, October 30 at 1:00pm (Eastern) as theologian Miroslav Volf hosts a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and essayist Marilynne Robinson, produced by the Yale Center for Faith & Culture at Yale Divinity School.

How can we live faithfully in this political moment? It is a moment characterized by stridency, resentment, anger, and despair—where shared commitments to truth, debate, and good faith in one another are under threat. But Marilynne Robinson sees an opportunity for putting aside resentment, suspicion of the other, and despair, and instead seeking justice, equality, and a familial love of America. Join Miroslav Volf in conversation with Marilynne Robinson for a discussion of American public life, Christian faith, and how we ought to live both now and after the 2020 election.

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About Marilynne Robinson

Marilynne Robinson is an award-winning American novelist and essayist. Robinson was born and raised in Sandpoint, Idaho. Christian spirituality and American political life is a recurring theme in Robinson's fiction and non-fiction. In a 2008 interview with the Paris Review, Robinson said, "Religion is a framing mechanism. It is a language of orientation that presents itself as a series of questions. It talks about the arc of life and the quality of experience in ways that I've found fruitful to think about."

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, described Robinson as "one of the world's most compelling novelists"... whose voice we "urgently need to attend to in both Church and society here (in the UK)."

In 2012, she was awarded the National Humanities Medal for "grace and intelligence in writing."

Her novels include: Housekeeping (1980, Hemingway Foundation/Pen Award, Pulitzer Prize finalist), Gilead (2004, Pulitzer Prize), Home (2008, National Book Award Finalist), Lila (2014, National Book Award Finalist), and most recently, Jack (2020). Robinson's non-fiction works include Mother Country: Britain, the Welfare State, and Nuclear Pollution (1989), The Death of Adam: Essays on Modern Thought (1998), Absence of Mind: The Dispelling of Inwardness from the Modern Myth of the Self (2010), When I was a Child I Read Books: Essays (2012), The Givenness of Things: Essays (2015), and What Are We Doing Here?: Essays (2018).

Marilynne Robinson received a B.A., magna cum laude, from Brown University in 1966 and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington in 1977. She has been writer-in-residence or visiting professor at many universities, included Yale Divinity School in Spring 2020. She currently teaches at the Iowa Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa. She has served as a deacon, and sometimes preaches, for the Congregational United Church of Christ. Robinson lives in Iowa City.

About Miroslav Volf

Miroslav Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Theology at Yale Divinity School and is the Founder and Director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He was educated in his native Croatia, the United States, and Germany, earning doctoral and post-doctoral degrees (with highest honors) from the University of Tübingen, Germany.

He has written or edited more than 20 books, over 100 scholarly articles, and his work has been featured in the Washington Post, NPR, Christianity Today, Christian Century, Sojourners, and several other outlets. Some of his more significant books include: Exclusion and Embrace: A Theological Exploration of Identity, Otherness, and Reconciliation (1996/2019), Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a Culture Stripped of Grace (2006), Allah: A Christian Response (2011), After Our Likeness: The Church as the Image of the Trinity (1998), A Public Faith: How Followers of Christ Should Serve the Common Good (2011), The End of Memory: Remembering Rightly in a Violent World (2006/2020), Flourishing: Why We Need Religion in a Globalized World (2016), For the Life of the World: Theology that Makes a Difference (2019, with Matthew Croasmun).

You can listen to Miroslav on For the Life of the World, a podcast about seeking and living a life worthy of our humanity, produced by the Yale Center for Faith and Culture.

Click here to read Miroslav's full bio.

About the Yale Center for Faith & Culture

Our purpose is to help people envision and pursue lives worthy of our humanity, through discerning, articulating, and commending visions of flourishing in light of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ and fostering truth-seeking conversations among the contending visions in our world today. Read more about our mission and vision on our About page.