• “A Little Willingness to See”: Sacramental Vision in Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and Gilead

    Author(s):
    Andrew Stout (see profile)
    Date:
    2014
    Group(s):
    Theology
    Subject(s):
    Theology, American literature
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    Literature and Theology, Theology and Literature, Marilynne Robinson
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/0p9c-gy13
    Abstract:
    The “sacramental imagination” is closely associated with writers from the Roman Catholic tradition. However, Marilynne Robinson, drawing on the creational and sacramental theology of John Calvin, has successfully developed a distinctly American Protestant sacramental vision in and through her novels Housekeeping and Gilead. In this article, I examine Robinson’s appropriation of Calvin to show how he has shaped her sacramental view of the world. I then look at the two novels in succession to show how this vision manifests itself in her fiction. Robinson sees creation itself as bearing a sacramental character that is particularly evident in the elements of water, bread, and wine. When these elements are concentrated in sacramental actions and viewed through the corrective lens of Scripture, they reveal this intention with an even greater clarity. Through her depictions of the sacred nature of ordinary people and places, Robinson articulates a vision that invites the reader to see the divine in the common.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 months ago
    License:
    Attribution

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