Faith In The Age of Reason, with Dr Liz Williams

Professor, novelist, and Guardian columnist, who is ready & poised to stimulate and excite our turgid post-Christmas grey matter with her mind altering & fearless investigations into Faith in the Age of Reason

Karl Popper - extremely reasonable guy

Karl Popper - extremely reasonable guy

With Dr Liz Williams, we start the New Year with a bang and, in the noble tradition of intrepid Ebenezer enquiry, ask some of the great and divisive questions of our time: What is belief? Is it a kind of knowledge? Can any of us really know anything? How can we prove it? How can we demonstrate the truth? Even the truth of scientific knowledge? Is scientific knowledge easier to prove than religious faith? How do we approach an understanding of either? What kind of truth is faith?

In this talk, Liz Williams will be putting FAITH IN THE AGE OF REASON under the microscope. Faith (some may say quite rightly) is increasingly under attack from the “new atheism”, with its famous attack-dogs of Dawkins and Hitchens &co. Liz will argue that Dawkins makes a “category error” in trying to compare religious belief to scientific knowledge and is completely wrong in trying to draw analogies between these two areas of thought. And, in turn, that religious apologists are wrong in trying to explain everything – including the origins of the universe – in their own terms. She will demonstrate how philosophers of science like Karl Popper have influenced the way in which we approach all knowledge, both scientific and religious or mystical. She will show us how an understanding of the great ideas that underpin the contemporary philosophy of science can provide the essential tool-kit for a deeper and more energizing understanding of both science itself and, sometimes surprisingly, spirituality & religious faith.


Dr Liz Williams

Liz Williams is a prolific author and journalist. Her column on spirituality and science appears regularly in The Guardian, she has a PhD from Cambridge in the philosophy of science and she has published 15 novels, including the much lauded Inspector Chen series. She has a devoted following amongst Science Fiction aficionados and her novels The Ghost Sister (2001) & Empire of Bones (2002) were both nominated for the Philip K. Dick Award. She lived for many years in Central Asia and her experiences there inspired her book Nine layers of Sky (2003). Her investigations into paganism, spirituality, and scientific knowledge inform all her work and particularly her continuously evolving writings on FAITH IN THE AGE OF REASON. She also owns a witchcraft shop in Glastonbury, where she now lives.

2013Martin Keeley