Extended Deadline: Marilynne Robinson, Jesus and John Wayne, and the American Evangelical Tradition
The Marilynne Robinson Society and the American Religion and Literature Society (ARLS) will hold a joint panel at the annual American Literature Association Conference (May 25-28, 2022; Boston, MA). We are seeking papers that examine the author’s relationship to American evangelicalism. Robinson’s spiritual vision has been shaped by the writings of Jonathan Edwards, who is considered to be the founding father of American evangelicalism. How does Robinson’s body of work lead us to think critically about the evangelical tradition in the United States? How do her essays and novels, particularly Gilead, provide a counter-narrative to the discourses found in modern and contemporary American evangelicalism? In what ways can they respond to the incisive diagnosis presented by Kristen Du Mez’s recent book, Jesus and John Wayne, a text that examines the connection between American evangelicalism, Christian nationalism, rugged masculinity, and political power? How might Robinson’s novels and essays in conversation with Du Mez’s Jesus and John Wayne illuminate our understanding of the evangelical tradition in the United States? These are some of the questions that the panel seeks to address.