Books and Belief festival programme launched

Reading time: 2 minutes

A range of speakers from the UK and beyond will explore the relationship between literature and all aspects of belief as part of this year’s New College Festival. 

Run by the University’s School of Divinity, the festival is in its third year and will take place between 2 and 4 November. 

At the festival, Alister McGrath will speak about how Richard Dawkins has inspired people to reconsider their faith. John Barclay will invite us to ‘Think with the Apostle Paul’ and Laura Saetveit Miles will help us ‘Read like the Virgin’. 

Academic and author of The Colour of God Ayesha S Chaudhry will travel from Canada for the festival while American novelist Allegra Goodman will join online. Kathy Galloway will offer a Scottish perspective on issues of ethnicity and what it means to belong.

Merryn Glover, Alastair McIntosh and Alistair Moffat, all award-winning writers on the landscape and heritage of Scotland, will form a panel to discuss ‘journeys and pilgrimages’. If you want to find out how to be a better leader, or to cope with the advance of AI, or how literature can help us age well, then Eve Poole and Ben Hutchinson will have insights to share in their sessions.

The festival will close with two Scottish-based novelists, Em Strang and Victoria Mackenzie, discussing their work and what has inspired them.

Alison Jack, Professor of Bible and Literature and Principal of New College, said: “This is the third annual New College Festival of Books and Belief and it offers something for everyone who’s interested in the complex interplay between religious ideas and literature.  

“During the festival there will be a welcoming cafe run by the Grassmarket Community and a pop-up bookstall from Cornerstone, all within the Rainy Hall in New College. New College will be a hive of activity for anyone who loves books and wants to think afresh about all aspects of religion, faith and spirituality.” 

Find out more

This year attendees can benefit from a Festival Pass offering access to all events for the discounted rate of £35 (full price)/£25 (concessions). 

New College Festival: Books & Belief 2023 Festival Pass 

New College Festival: Books & Belief 2023 Tickets