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New College Festival - Books and Belief

The New College Festival - Books and Belief will invite an array of speakers and writers from the UK and beyond to explore the fascinating relationship between literature and all aspects of belief.

In this year’s festival we will be asking what influence the religions of the world, plus humanism and secularism, have had on the books we read, and why prominent thinkers and writers have engaged with diverse beliefs so creatively. Writers of historical fiction, biography, poetry, drama and much more will offer their insights and read from their works.

The title 'Books and Belief' comes from our desire to explore personal belief systems and faith rather than simply talking about religions more generally. Speakers will talk about loss of faith and challenges to faith, renegotiation of their belief systems, generational divides and different ways they connect with the secular and spiritual worlds.

We want to explore ‘religion’ not just as a system of theology and rituals but as permeating all layers of our society and life whether we have faith in any spiritual belief system or not. Literature, and arts more broadly, have been important expressions of that, as we acknowledge and develop on our successful Masters Programme in Religion and Literature in the School. 

This Year confirmed speakers include S.J. Parris, Leila Aboulela, N.T. Wright and James Robertson.

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