by Marilynne Robinson
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Pub Date 12 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 12 Apr 2024
One of our greatest novelists and thinkers presents a radiant, thrilling interpretation of the book of Genesis.
For generations, the book of Genesis has been treated by scholars as a collection of documents by various hands, expressing different factional interests, with borrowings from other ancient literatures that mark the text as derivative. In other words, academic interpretation of Genesis has centered on the question of its basic coherency, just as fundamentalist interpretation has centered on the question of the appropriateness of reading it as literally true.
Both of these approaches preclude an appreciation of its greatness as literature, its rich articulation and exploration of themes that resonate through the whole of Scripture. Marilynne Robinson’s Reading Genesis, which includes the full text of the King James Version of the book, is a powerful consideration of the profound meanings and promise of God’s enduring covenant with humanity. This magisterial book radiates gratitude for the constancy and benevolence of God’s abiding faith in Creation.
A Note From the Publisher
"In this illuminating work of biblical analysis, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Robinson, whose Gilead series contains a variety of Christian themes, takes readers on a dedicated layperson’s journey through the Book of Genesis. The author meanders delightfully through the text, ruminating on one tale after another while searching for themes and mining for universal truths . . . [A] luminous exegesis." —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Robinson skillfully melds her literary interpretation with her theological one . . . Like the biblical book it explicates, Robinson’s offering is demanding, intense, and best read slowly." —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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Average rating from 12 members
A truly impressive piece of interpretive work. Robinson makes Genesis come alive in its narrative and highlights its exceptional nature in comparison to ancient near east literature against which it is measured. A powerful and deeply personal reflection, informed by obvious great literary, historical, and biblical expertise.
Rarely has theological prose been as beautifully poetic and lyrical as in Marilynne Robinson's Reading Genesis. Robinson's mastery of the English language, when applied to theological inquiry, makes for a seriously beautiful and deeply enjoyable read. Even if one were to disagree with some of her conclusions, as many conservative evangelicals likely will, Robinson's commitment to awe, allowing and embracing the mystery of a God that can be known and yet remains beyond mankind's understanding and grasp, and to a conviction that there is a goodness found in Him that is better than we think, surpassing human understanding and, frequently, disturbing our sense of justice, makes Reading Genesis worthwhile, at times convicting, and essential.