Its been my feeling for a while that Tim Winton ‘gets’ faith in a way that I feel an affinity with. Its an earthy, no nonsense expression, where doing the right stuff matters much more than just believing the right stuff.
In this video he comments a bit on the character of Nev Keely who he created in Eyrie. Keely is a cameo character but there is a chapter devoted to him and he is something of an enigma when it comes to faith.
He’s a new convert with all the evangelical zeal of someone fresh to the faith, but he’s also rough around the edges and doesn’t mind using his muscle to get things done if he has to.
He becomes a local ‘pastor’ and the church admire their ‘rough around the edges’ trophy, that is until he becomes too rough around the edges and steps outside the confines of their ‘bounded set’ imagination.
He finds himself on the outer – probably where he belongs – mixing it with bikers and others who don’t fit. Perhaps this is where Winton finds himself? Winton alludes to the fact that works of fiction can be works of theology in a sense because in them you get to try on theological ideas on ‘real people’ and this is what happens in Eyrie
As I read of Nev I see some of Winton’s theology coming thru – of faith that is practical – whether it dots all the theological ‘i’s’ and crosses all the ‘t’s’ Nev is a bloke you would say is the real deal.
I like Nev.