She’s discussing her beautiful book Gilead and responding to a comment that “truth claims” seem to be more palatable in fiction than in essays (because a lot of us wonder how she got away with so much "truth" in a Pulitzer winning novel), and that maybe the edge is blunted in fiction to the fact that truth claims are actually being made until readers are well into the story, and she responds along the lines of saying that if you can’t embody the terms that are repeated in religious thought, it just sounds like cant and something doctrinal that other people have no way of imagining a meaning for (this is from about 52 minutes onwards). The she goes on to say this:
There’s truth in truth, which is one of the problems with the way that the conversation about religion has gone in the last century or so, less than that perhaps. There’s the truth of the fact that experience is beautiful, that love is profound and that we are vulnerable and small in the order of things, and perhaps very grand in the transcendent order. I think people have that intuition, whether they are religious or not. An amazing number of people have said I don’t believe in God, but I do believe in the soul, which is interesting. But in any case, people hang religion on, you know, a six day creation or the circumstances of the birth of Jesus or something like that, but I think that there’s a much deeper truth that speaks over that whole catalogue of particulars that has to do with the fact that the great drama of God was enacted among human beings, that raises the meaning of truth to another level of persuasion in way, a palpable presence. And I think that religious people tend to get hung up on making whatever they consider to be the crucial argument of truth, by which they tend to mean fact, and they forget that the whole beautiful life of the religion occurs at another level that has to do with a father releasing his son into the world to bear its burdens, which is one way in which that narrative is articulated.Marilynne Robinson is more liberal than I am on many points, but perhaps this splendid portion near the close of Gilead illustrates what she means here.