Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The givenness of everything

Denis and I think, speak, try to live with the understanding that all we do is whole. We are not Christians here and over there we are an athlete, here we practice our faith, here, for the moment, I am buying spices or reconciling my bank account. Same with writing.

Posted on the Kalos Press blog:
Richard Doster helps me think about what this means for my own writing and faith as he points to so many writers of great literature whose faith was integral to their life and living:

“In speaking about life and faith, Marilyn Robinson declares, ‘I’ve never found them to be incompatible …. Frankly, historically speaking, a great deal of English language literature is generated directly out of religious thought and religious erudition.’ Then, with words that bring O’Connor and Percy to mind, she said, ‘For me, a religious mindset creates a habit of scrupulous inquiry relative to virtually everything ….’ She explained to Lanpher [Katherine Lanpher was interviewing] that, ‘… everything has religious significance. It’s not as if I go from one area of interest to another,’ she said, ‘they’re simultaneous for me.'

“From Robinson, throughout the whole of the conversation, there’s not a syllable of defensiveness; there’s no awkwardness, no need to shy away from anything she believes. And from Lanpher, there’s only respect for a great writer.

“The conversation later veers down this charming path, as the Pulitzer Prize winning Christian so casually explains to the secular interviewer on a nationally distributed podcast that John Calvin is 'cool in a lot of ways. If you read his sermons on the 10 Commandments,’ Robinson explains, ‘they’re absolutely beautiful, profoundly humane interpretations of things that many people find forbidding.’ She continues, talking about how Calvin situated sacred and human experience in the mind and in perception, and about how she feels indebted to the 16th century reformer for his understanding of, 'the givenness of everything.' 

Kalos Press reprinted this article with permission from byFaith magazine.

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