Sunday, 31 January 2010

Writing theology with Marilynne Robinson

The Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton is holding an intensive three-week residential workshop with Marilynne Robinson, for theologians who want to write for wider readerships. The workshop runs from 20 June through 10 July 2010. Applications are invited from tenured and tenure-track scholars in any of the theological disciplines: full details here. Robinson explains the purpose of the workshop:

“Theology has been the mediator of the primary literature of faith since antiquity. The writers of the psalms, the prophets, the Apostle Paul all interpret core belief — that God is One, the Creator of heaven and earth, and that he has made humankind in his image. Augustine, Chrysostom, Aquinas, Luther and Calvin each gave intellectual, social and artistic form to modes of Christian life which without them are hardly to be imagined. Lately the practice of this ancient tradition has receded into the academy and learned the idiom of specialization, leaving religion increasingly vulnerable to the charge, and the fact, of vacuousness. We will consider the impulse to think and write theologically, always in light of the intrinsic and profound significance of theology to the life of faith and the world of thought.”
This is a great opportunity to work with one of the world's finest writers. In my view, Marilynne Robinson's Gilead and Cormac McCarthy's The Road are the two great American novels of the past decade. And Robinson is also a vivid and incisive theological writer, as her remarkable essays in The Death of Adam attest.

So anyway, you might like to get along to this great workshop. If I could hitchhike from Sydney to New Jersey, I'd be there myself, hauling my old typewriter across the country like Jack Kerouac with his dirty coat and 100-foot scroll.


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