What Are We Doing Here?: Essays

What Are We Doing Here?: Essays

by Marilynne Robinson

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New essays on theological, political, and contemporary themes, by the Pulitzer Prize winner

Marilynne Robinson has plumbed the human spirit in her renowned novels, including Lila, winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and Gilead, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In this new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern political climate and the mysteries of faith. Whether she is investigating how the work of great thinkers about America like Emerson and Tocqueville inform our political consciousness or discussing the way that beauty informs and disciplines daily life, Robinson’s peerless prose and boundless humanity are on full display. What Are We Doing Here? is a call for Americans to continue the tradition of those great thinkers and to remake American political and cultural life as “deeply impressed by obligation [and as] a great theater of heroic generosity, which, despite all, is sometimes palpable still.”

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250310385
Publisher: Picador
Publication date: 02/12/2019
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 210,218
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Marilynne Robinson is the author of the novels Lila, Home, Gilead (winner of the Pulitzer Prize), and Housekeeping, and the nonfiction books The Givenness of Things, When I Was a Child I Read Books, Mother Country, The Death of Adam, and Absence of Mind. She lives in Iowa.


Iowa City, Iowa

Date of Birth:

November 26, 1943

Place of Birth:

Sandpoint, Idaho


B.A., Brown University, 1966

Table of Contents


* What Is Freedom of Conscience?

* What Are We Doing Here?

* Theology for this Moment

* The Sacred, the Human

* The Divine

* The American Scholar Now

* Grace and Beauty

* A Proof, a Test, an Instruction

* The Beautiful Changes

* Our Public Conversation: How America Talks About Itself

* Mind, Conscience, Soul

* Considering the Theological Virtues: Faith, Hope, and Love

* Integrity and the Modern Intellectual Tradition

* Old Souls, New World

* Slander

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