In a previous post titled The fog of religious language I said that sophisticated religious apologists tend to speak so vaguely and elliptically that it is hard to know exactly what they actually believe, and singled out Marilynne Robinson as one culprit. In an interview in the September/October issue of The New Humanist, she does it again.
Q: You use the word “soul” in your book. What do you mean by this?
A: There is a very primary self, a companion self one answers to, intimate and aloof, keeper of loyalties, bearer of loneliness and sorrow, faithful despite neglect and offence, more passionate lover of everything one loves, the unaccountable presence of joy in quiet and solitude. Soul is one name for this self within the self, which I believe is a universal human possession.
Well, I’m glad we cleared that up.