In Absence of Mind, Marilynne Robinson shakes up the supposed debate between religion and science by finding common ground in an imperfect search for an elusive truth. How did she get here? First, she has become a singular presence on the scene of American letters. After her astounding debut novel, Housekeeping, was published in 1982, she retreated under a self-imposed mission to know the world more deeply.
She re-emerged in 2006 with Gilead (which won a Pulitzer) and then again in 2008 with Home. Faith—and, more broadly, the mystery of human consciousness—figure centrally in her fiction.
She brings these themes to this nonfiction work. Drawn from a series of lectures given at Yale, his book is a learned and deeply felt challenge to recent books like Richard Dawkins’ The God Delusion that reduce faith “to a matter of bones and feathers and wishful thinking.” It’s a stimulating and moving read for readers interested in the meeting and collision of the worlds of religion and science.