In an interview with PBS reporter Bob Abernethy, Marilynne Robinson, the award-winning author of Gilead and Home discusses her Protestant faith and its deep roots in her Idaho home. She also reveals her abiding suspicion of the writings of the so-called new atheists, much of which is covered in her new book published by Yale University Press, Absence of Mind.
An excerpt from the interview follows the video:
ABERNETHY: Robinson has great respect for the 16th-century reformer John Calvin, who she says was far more compassionate than his stern reputation suggests—for instance, about forgiveness.
ROBINSON: The assumption is that forgiveness is owed wherever God might want forgiveness to be given, and we don’t know, so you err on the side of forgiving. You assume your fallibility, and you also assume that anybody that you encounter is precious to God—or is God himself.
ABERNETHY: So you cannot judge. You have to forgive. But Robinson is very critical of the work of the so-called new atheists.
ROBINSON: I think this sort of avalanche of literature we have gotten lately is very second-rate. It simply is not well informed and not well considered. I mean I consider it to be kind of noise.