Martin Amis leads debate on religion and literature

01 Jul 2008

Leading author Martin Amis is to lead a public debate on literature and religion at The University of Manchester on Tuesday July 1.

Professor Martin Amis
Professor Martin Amis

Speakers at the event - including Professor Amis - will take part in a frank discussion of literature's interplay with religion, and how writers draw on and react against it.

Taking place in the University's Whitworth Hall at 6.30pm, the debate will feature noted literary critic James Wood and leading theologian Professor Graham Ward.

The panel will examine the similarities and differences between literature and religion, including the need to believe or suspend disbelief and their attitudes to science.

Literature's role as a moral force, and its depictions of faith and apocalypse, will also be considered.

Organisers expect a lively and stimulating evening concluding with a Q and A session - allowing members of the public and students to put points and questions to the panel.

It is the third in a series of high-profile public debates on issues in contemporary literature, hosted by The Centre for New Writing where Amis is Professor.

Co-director of the Centre, Dr Ian McGuire, said: "It's hard to remember a time when attitudes to religion and religious belief were so polarised and so intensely held in this country.

"This debate promises to shed some intelligent light on what can easily become an overheated debate."

The Amis events complement the Centre's regular 'Literature Live' reading series, which brings the best-known contemporary novelists and poets to Manchester to discuss and read from their work.

Notes for editors

Literature and Religion will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 1 July in the Whitworth Hall, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL.

Tickets cost £5 (£3 concessions) and are available from the University's box office on 0161 275 8951 or, or via

Images are available upon request.

For more details contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations Officer
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881 567


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