I don’t like categories like religious and not religious. As soon as religion draws a line around itself it becomes falsified. It seems to me that anything that is written compassionately and perceptively probably satisfies every definition of religious whether a writer intends it to be religious or not.
Most of her contemporaries would agree that a writer must capture gesture, or “detail,” but for Robinson this act of perception is imbued with rich theological consequence. The “locus of the human mystery,” she writes, “is perception of this world.” This perceptive capacity, in her view, is our moral substance—that is, the “soul,” as she seeks to name it.