In the tradition of nineteenth-century novelists who turned to the essay, Marilynne Robinson offers a beautiful and authoritative approach to refining the ideas our culture has handed down to us. Whether considering how the McGuffey readers were inspired by Midwestern abolitionists; how Creationism, "long owned by the Religious Right," has spurred on contemporary Darwinism; or how John Calvin, who was a Frenchman in Geneva, points to America's continental origins, Robinson writes meticulously and with great conviction. Her essays are filled with the excitement of discovery.
"This is a grand, sweeping, blazing, brilliant, life-changing book. One turns the last page shaken, but also believing that if a voice such as Robinson's can be raised in our time, then a new reformation might be on its way. It is the most important book on religion and culture for America's self-understanding since Max Weber's The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, a book which, not incidentally, Robinson demolishes."--Robert D. Richardson, Jr., author of Emerson: The Mind on Fire...Continua