Cultural Perspectives on Familial Belonging
Prodigal Son or Prodigal Father? Ambiguous Family Roles and Narrative Strategies in Gilead and Home by Marilynne Robinson
Claiming that authors include biblical themes and motifs in their work because they want to use their writing to connect readers to whatever important or powerful message the Bible can convey, may be an indication of a rather limited interpretative approach. However, scholars writing about Robinson’s works seem to agree that it is hardly possible to ignore Robinson’s personal attitude to the teachings of the Bible and John Calvin. Jennifer L. Holberg writes:
As anyone with even a passing familiarity with Robinson’s work knows, her project is deeply embedded in a rich Christian theology – one that considers “fragments of the quotidian” (another winsome phrase from Housekeeping) integral to any conception of the holy. Significantly, Robinson’s theology is explicitly and insistently Calvinist; in interview after interview, in her essays and speeches, she invokes John Calvin as central to her artistic mission. (283)
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