Photo credit: Sam Ardley
The Petworth Literary Festival welcomes one of ourleading social and cultural historians who will talk about his dazzling and original exploration of why and how we should still be reading the Bible, even in an age when so many people no longer believe.
A N Wilson has been thinking about the Bible and reading it since he read theology for a year at university. Martin Luther King was ‘reading the Bible’ when he started the Civil Rights movement. When Michelangelo painted the fresco cycles in the Sistine Chapel, he was ‘reading the Bible’.
In The Book of the People A N Wilson exploreshow readers and thinkers have approached the Bible,and how it might be read today. Wilson argues that it remains relevant even in a largely secular society as a philosophical work, a work of literature and a cultural touchstone that the western world has answered to fornearly two thousand years. Erudite, witty and accessible,The Book of the People seeks to reclaim the Good Book as our seminal work of literature, and a book for the imagination.
A N Wilson is an English essayist, journalist, and author of satiric novels of British society and of scholarly biographies of literary figures. His characters are typically eccentric, sexually ambiguous, and aimless.Wilson attended New College, Oxford, began a teaching career and then spent a year training for the priesthood before deciding to concentrate on writing. Wilson’s satiric writing ranges from the sometimes outrageouscomedy of Who Was Oswald Fish? (1981) to the black comedy of My Name Is Legion (2004). An esteemed biographer himself, Wilson has written books on Sir Walter Scott, John Milton, Hilaire Belloc, Leo Tolstoy, C S Lewis, Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, and Iris Murdoch.
His popular histories include God’s Funeral (1999), The Victorians (2002), London: A Short History (2004), and After the Victorians (2005). He also composes essays on religion and contributes regularly to several London newspapers.