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Tyler Cowen engages today’s deepest thinkers in wide-ranging explorations of their work, the world, and everything in between.

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Mar 20, 2024

Marilynne Robinson is one of America's best and best-known novelists and essayists, whose award-winning works like Housekeeping and Gilead explore themes of faith, grace, and the intricacies of human nature. Beyond her writing, Robinson's 25-year tenure at the famed Iowa Writers' Workshop allowed her to shape and inspire the new generations of writers. Her latest book, Reading Genesis, displays her scholarly prowess, analyzing the biblical text not only through the lens of religious doctrine but also appreciating it as a literary masterpiece.

She joined Tyler to discuss betrayal and brotherhood in the Hebrew Bible, the relatable qualities of major biblical figures, how to contend with the Bible's seeming contradictions, the true purpose of Levitical laws, whether we've transcended the need for ritual sacrifice, the role of the Antichrist, the level of biblical knowledge among students, her preferred Bible translation, whether The Winter's Tale makes sense, the evolution of Calvin's reputation and influence, why academics are overwhelmingly secular, the success of the Iowa Writer's Workshop, why she wrote a book on nuclear pollution, what she'll do next, and more.

Read a full transcript enhanced with helpful links, or watch the full video.

Recorded February 8th, 2024.

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Photo Credit: Alec Soth, Magnum Photos