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Jonathan Safran Foer: "I'm not so interested in the comforting kind of religion"

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(Read caption) 'Do I regret that some material got left out? It would be really miserly and inappropriate to go into that,' Jonathan Safran Foer said of the movie adaptation of his novel 'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.' 'I gave away my right to complain.'

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A Jewish agnostic might not be the most obvious choice as a keynote speaker at a religious conference at a private Christian college named after John Calvin. But Jonathan Safran Foer was one of five “plenary” speakers at Calvin College's Festival on Faith & Writing in Grand Rapids, Mich., along with Pulitzer Prize winner Marilynne Robinson, Orange Prize winner Chimamanda Ngozi Achidie, Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt, and activist Shane Claiborne.

In two sessions, April 19 and 20, author Jonathan Safran Foer ranged widely over topics from his love of sculptor Joseph Cornell, why he would be an obstetrician today without his mentor, Joyce Carol Oates; the movie adaptation of “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close”; and editing the “New American Haggadah.”

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