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On our prejudice against the past

Summary

Marilynne Robinson says she has a strange loyalty to former generations.

Summary

Marilynne Robinson says she has a strange loyalty to former generations.

Transcript

I’m culturally predisposed to read Puritans and Calvin sympathetically. We all have inherited one tradition or another.

I have this strange loyalty to all former generations, I think they were just as earnest and just as brilliant as anyone. And that the fact that certain details of their sensibility and of their circumstance have been lost to us – it’s still very clear that there is much that’s brilliant, in classical theology, for example. It has not been outmoded.

And Karl Barth, say, a modern theologian, is also very brilliant – and he’s brilliant in the traditional style! And whatever he says, however valuable it is, it does not eclipse beautiful things, valuable things, that have been said historically. I think people just arbitrarily impoverish their experience by the prejudice against the past.