Marilynne Robinson's Essay "Darwinism"

1362 words 6 pages
Marilynne Robinson’s Essay “Darwinism”
Introduction to Christian Theology
REL 103
Kaitlyn Spencer

Marilynne Robinson is a Pulitzer-winning novelist who has graced us with her essays found in The Death of Adam. Robinson gives the read the feeling of being much more educated than he or she really is. These essays provide readers with different ways of discussing history, religion and society. They, although difficult to comprehend at times, are flawlessly argued and, throughout, are grounded in universal human experience. When reading them, it is hard not to be persuaded, especially if reading them with an open mind. One of her most intriguing essays is that of Darwinism. Darwinism is one of the
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Nietzsche is a philosopher/critic who “attacked Christianity as a religion of resentment in which weakness and mediocrity are made virtues while strength and genius are despised”. He used a parable to announce the death of God and proclaims that there will be an “advent of the superior human being”5. There is a passage in his Ecce Homo in which he talks of the two millennia of anti-nature and the idea of a tragic age. Robinson includes this passage in her essay and ends up attacking Nietzsche’s ethic of selfishness and the way that it has become respectable. Nietzsche’s defenders always claim that he was never being “overheated”. Robinson claims that the most striking thing to her was the fact that there was extensive similarities between his language and Darwin’s in The Descent of Man. She continues to deconstruct Nietzsche’s passage. She argues that “it is not the failure of Christianity but its success, in terms of its own highest values, for which it is despised”6. She also says that the idea of human goodness is not natural and because of that, it isn’t beneficial. Nietzsche’s argument is proved capable of corruption. Robinson, then uses the example of the Nazis to bring the argument to a conclusion. She tells the reader to imagine them using the passage as crucial to act as the “agents of nature” which resulted in “a hideous crime, which issued in so many kinds of catastrophe