Postmodern Conservative

Marilynne Robinson’s Calvinism and Progressive Democracy

It worried me that my favorite novelist, Marilynne Robinson, was also Barack Obama’s. It turned out I was right to be worried. A sensibility that has its beauty, and its truth, in a literary context proves to be a very defective touchstone for sober thinking about politics, and therefore about the human condition as a whole. In a new piece over at Law and Liberty Forum, I argue that there is fundamental kinship between Robinson’s Progressive Calvinism and the modern scientism she deplores. For Robinson the mysteries of Christianity and Progressive democracy converge in their movement away from all traditional categories and constraints, with their implicit teleological assertions, a movement guided by the “vision of the soul, all souls, realizing itself in the course of transforming everything that has constrained it and them.”

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