The Guardian Hay Festival / Top thinkers debate religion

The world’s leading expert on Jesus, Prof. Geza Vermes, and religious & political commentator, the former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Richard Harries both took part in the Guardian Hay Festival this week.

On Wednesday, Vermes’ talk, Searching for the Real Jesus, was a sell out event and was so popular that it had to be moved to a larger stage. The eminent Jesus historian examined Jesus’ continuing relevance in today’s society, calling into question the historical authority of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code, as well as the current Pope’s recent book on Jesus. In The Guardian on Monday, Booker-shortlisted author Simon Mawer said that Vermes was his top pick of the festival and Vermes did not fail to impress with a sell out event. Geza will also be taking part in the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality in August, where he will be exploring current perceptions of the historical Jesus and signing copies of his new book, Searching for the Real Jesus.

On Saturday night, former Bishop of Oxford, Lord Richard Harries took part in the debate, Is Reason Always Right with AC Grayling, Martin Rees and Ayaan Hirsi Ali arguing for the motion, and Richard, Maggi Dawn and Maleiha Malik arguing against. Harries argued that the premise for rationality changes according to the individual’s prejudice and life experience and that rationality is not enough on its own but individuals require moral and spiritual discipline to reach a sound conclusion. Harries will also be appearing at the Edinburgh Festival of Spirituality and the Greenbelt Festival in August, where he will be discussing the the role of religion in politics and signing copies of his new book Faith in politics: Rediscovering the Christian roots of our political values (DLT).

For more information on either author please contact [email protected]