Thomas Pynchon as America’s Theologian

Alan Jacobs in The Hedgehog Review:

In 1988, the great Lutheran scholar Robert Jenson published a book called America’s Theologian, conferring that honor on the formidable eighteenth-century Calvinist divine Jonathan Edwards. Jenson did not mean that Edwards is the greatest American theologian, though he probably is, but rather “that Edwards’s theology meets precisely the problems and opportunities of specifically American Christianity and of the nation molded thereby, and that it does so with the profundity and inventive élan that belong only to the very greatest thinkers.”1 Quite clearly, a very different America has emerged in the decades since Jenson’s book was published, and the best theologian of our America is by profession neither a theologian nor a pastor. The great theologian of our America, I propose, is the novelist Thomas Pynchon.

More here.