The Givenness of Things: Essays

The Givenness of Things: Essays


Document Type



The spirit of our times can appear to be one of joyless urgency. As a culture we have become less interested in the exploration of the glorious mind, and more interested in creating technologies for material well-being. But while cultural pessimism is always fashionable, there is still much to give us hope. In The Givenness of Things, Marilynne Robinson delivers an impassioned critique of our contemporary society while arguing that reverence must be given to who we are and what we are: creatures of singular interest and value, despite our errors and depredations. Robinson has plumbed the depths of the human spirit in her award-winning novels, and in her new essay collection she trains her incisive mind on our modern predicament and the mysteries of faith. These seventeen essays examine the ideas that have inspired and provoked one of our finest writers throughout her life. Whether she is investigating how the work of the great thinkers of the past--Calvin, Locke, Bonhoeffer, and Shakespeare--can infuse our lives, or calling attention to the rise of the self-declared élite in American religious and political life, Robinson's peerless prose and boundless humanity are on display.

Publication Date



Farrar, Straus, and Giroux


New York




2016 Richard C. Holbrooke Distinguished Achievement Award


Arts and Humanities | Creative Writing

The Givenness of Things: Essays

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