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Theology and the tragic: a debate revisited

Events • Religion • Lecture

The Rt Revd & Rt Hon the Lord (Rowan) Williams of Oystermouth FBA, University of Cambridge

Tuesday 1 December 2015, 6-7.15pm followed by a reception The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH

Studies of tragic drama still refer from time to time to the argument that a theological/ religious worldview is inherently anti-tragic. The debate has drawn in figures as diverse as Helen Gardner, George Steiner and Terry Eagleton, as well as theologians like Donald MacKinnon. Recent studies of tragedy have complicated the issue further by questioning essentialist models of tragic drama or narrative, while a growing number of theologians have made use of dramatic categories. This lecture explored how the discussion has moved on, and how newer accounts of the tragic suggest different theological possibilities.

The Rt Revd & Rt Hon the Lord (Rowan) Williams of Oystermouth FBA
University of Cambridge

Rowan Williams is Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and served as Archbishop of Canterbury from 2002 to 2012. He is the author of a number of books on the frontiers of theology, philosophy and literary studies, as well as several volumes of poetry. He is a Fellow of the Academy and of the Royal Society of Literature.

Chaired by Professor Philip Alexander FBA, University of Manchester