Five writers inspired by faith and religion at the 2013 Edinburgh Book Festival
Colm Tóibín, John Tolan, Marina Warner, Rowan Williams and Steve Jones
This article is from 2013.
Religion and faith continue to provide rich veins of inspiration for writers the world over, as well as offering endlessly debated and provocative areas of discussion. These five events are guaranteed to provide food for thought for truth seekers of every stripe.
The former Archbishop has a unique vantage point on issues facing the established church in Britain, and is admired for the clarity of thought in his contemplative writings; this should be an insightful hour of discussion.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 15 Aug, 10am, £10 (£8).
Tolan argues that the history of East-West relations surrounding Islam is profoundly complex, and in his book Europe and the Islamic World offers a look beyond our media’s caricatured image of fundamentalism. Anyone keen to think about the far-reaching implications of organised beliefs will find much to chew on here.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 19 Aug, 2pm, £10 (£8).
Joan of Arc and Mary the mother of Jesus, two icons of Christian tradition, have fascinated and intrigued the influential feminist writer Marina Warner so much that she wrote acclaimed and provocative books on each of them in the 70s and 80s. Warner comes to the Book Festival to delve back into their culture-shaping mythologies as the two books are published in new editions.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 20 Aug, 11am, £10 (£8).
Mary is a popular figure at this year’s Festival, and will be reimagined once more as former Booker nominee Tóibín presents his new novella The Testament of Mary, in conversation with EIBF regular Richard Holloway.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 20 Aug, 4.30pm, £10 (£8).
Steve Jones is a geneticist on a mission: to connect science and the Bible in a meaningful way. Can such a quest ever be successful? It’s that question that makes this event worthy of appearance on this list. Whatever Jones’ destination, it will be interesting to join him on the journey.
Charlotte Square Gardens, 0845 373 5888, 23 Aug, 11.30am, £10 (£8).