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Roy Hattersley to give lecture in York Minster
ATHEIST Roy Hattersley will visit York Minster this autumn to deliver the first of a new season of Ebor Lectures.
The former deputy leader of the Labour Party is due to speak on October 3 about Atheism And Ethics: Are God And The Good Life Inseparable?’ Later in the series of seven lectures about theology and public life, another atheist, Professor Anthony Grayling, author of The Good Book: A Secular Bible, will speak at York St John University on June 12 next year.
Professor Keith Ward, from Oxford University, is also to speak about “the rise of new atheism and the reasonableness of faith in the context of church-state relationships” at the Minster on April 17.
Other speakers include former Attorney General Baroness Scotland, speaking about “Faith As An Arbiter Of Peace,” on November 21 and Catherine Pepinster, editor of The Tablet, giving a lecture entitled: “On Special Offer At Your Supermarket Now: The Tolerance And Intolerance Of Public Manifestations Of Religion” on May 22.
Asked if the Minster had any concerns about an avowed atheist being invited to speak at the cathedral, a spokeswoman said the lecture by Lord Hattersley had been approved by the Dean and Chapter, which saw it as a way to “foster conversation.”
She said atheists had spoken before at the Minster.
The lectures, collectively entitled The State of Religion? Establishment, Tolerance And Civic Society, are jointly organised by organisations including York St John University, the Minster, York Institute for Contemporary Theology and the Methodist Church.
The talks are said to be a response to a growing need for theology to interact with public issues in contemporary society, and are intended to ‘promote public conversation and build bridges between church and other religious groups,’ and relate faith to public concerns including politics, economics, contemporary culture, religion and spirituality.
The lectures are free, but by ticket only. To book a ticket, go to yorksj.ac.uk/eborlectures or write to Ebor Lectures, Faculty of Education and Theology, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO31 7EX.