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"An Interesting Planet": The Ecotheology of Marilynne Robinson's Fiction


This thesis follows the development of Marilynne Robinson's ecotheology across her four novels. Robinson's theologically-grounded engagement with the environment is not simply marginal or incidental to her work. Rather, an understanding of Robinson’s distinctive view of nature is inseparable from understanding her novels. In fact, the environmental outlook Robinson presents is inseparable from crucial lines of relationality in her fiction, including both relationships between people and the relationship between people and God. Her ecotheology is ultimately distinctive from secular environmentalism, from popular evangelical conceptions both ecological and theological, and even from Christian environmental stewardship. Developing an interconnected account of sin and salvation that integrates both heaven and earth, Robinson explores how human sin affects non-human Creation—but also asserts that the Christian promise of resurrection and redemption is woven into the very materiality of the earth. Marilynne Robinson’s fiction ultimately asserts that we cannot have heaven without earth.
Senior thesis (AB)--Brown University, 2021
Concentration: English

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Kim, Naomi, "'An Interesting Planet': The Ecotheology of Marilynne Robinson's Fiction" (2021). English Theses and Dissertations. Brown Digital Repository. Brown University Library.