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A Novel

by Marilynne Robinson

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  • First Published:
    Sep 2008, 336 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2009, 336 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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Beyond the Book

Predestination
One of the crucial scenes in Home, a scene so important that it repeats and vastly expands on a scene from Gilead, occurs when John Ames and his wife Lila visit the Boughtons for dinner, and Jack discomfits them all by pressing Reverend Ames for his views on the doctrine of predestination. "Do you think some people are intentionally and irretrievably consigned to perdition?" he asks. He continues, "I've wondered from time to time if I might not be an instance of predestination. A sort of proof. If I may not experience predestination in my own person. That would be interesting, if the consequences were not so painful."

Reverend Ames, a Congregationalist, and Reverend Boughton, a Presbyterian, are both Calvinists, like Marilynne Robinson herself. Predestination, a principle tenet of ...

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