An intimate and personal decoding of the nature and nurture of the famous and infamous geneticist, author of The Selfish Gene, Unweaving the Rainbow, The God Delusion and The Blind Watchmaker.
Ultra-high-functioning addict meets gravity in this latest volume of autobiography. The writer and actor talks to Peter Florence.
100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. Us. Homo sapiens. How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
This event was recorded for broadcast on the BBC World News programme Talking Books.
‘I went into the newsagent’s for a packet of fags and I saw the exercise book, and I thought, yes, that’s got your name on it. Or it soon will. Buy it and fill it with your thoughts, which are many and beautiful and frequently in service to the Lord. Make a diary of your time at St Saviour’s. Maybe, in two hundred years’ time, you’ll be celebrated as the Samuel Pepys of the Church of England. Or a sort of Reverend Bridget Jones. Is that too much to hope for, Lord?’ The creators of the glorious television comedy present the thoughts of Rev. Adam Smallbone.
A conversation about religion and imagery with the former Archbishop and Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and the Director of the British Museum, author of A History of the World in 100 Objects and Shakespeare’s Restless World.
Michael Ramsey Prize shortlisted authors, Victor Lee Austin, Luke Bretherton, John Gillibrand, Paula Gooder, Michael Lodahl and Thomas Yoder Neufeld share the experience of being nominated for one of the world’s most prestigious theology prizes and explain what their titles contribute to the world of contemporary theology.
What is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and foundation for morality?
In The Serpent’s Promise: The Bible Retold As Science the geneticist explores the shared mysteries of religion and science, from the origins of life and humankind to sex, age, death and the end of the universe. He steps aside from the noisy debate between believers and unbelievers to show how the same questions preoccupy us today as in biblical times. Chaired by Clemency Burton-Hill.
Codex Sinaiticus, copied in the middle of the C4th, is both the oldest surviving Christian Bible and one of the first to be made. Parker describes this beautiful and remarkable manuscript, discussing the religious significance of the technological revolution from which it emerged and suggests parallels with other momentous happenings in the history of the book, which have shaped belief.
Our memories make us who we are. But what is memory? What is it to remember a person or a place? Author Mark Rowlands grew up not far from Hay-on-Wye, but has lived much of his adult life in America. Returning to a place that is full of memories, he examines the idea of remembering through the medium of two of his books, the international bestseller The Philosopher And The Wolf, and his new book Running With The Pack.
One of the world’s most original and provocative thinkers offers thinking tools built for the most treacherous subject matter: evolution, meaning, consciousness and free will. Chaired by AC Grayling.
A classicist and a neuroscientist explore the Ancient Greek words Liberty, Comedy, Charisma, Xenia, Wisdom and Peace and travel both forwards and backwards in time, investigating how these ideas have been moulded by history and have made an impact on history and the human experience. Hughes is the author of Helen of Troy – Goddess, Whore and The Hemlock Cup. Critchlow is named as a British Council's Top 100 UK Scientist for her work in communication.
Five short arguments about flashpoints in the Freedom of Speech debates – porn, blasphemy, Israel, national security. Where do we draw the lines? And why?
Karen Armstrong, former Roman Catholic nun and one of our foremost scholars of religion, speaks out to interrogate the link between religion and bloodshed.
Religion is as old as humanity: Fields of Blood goes back to the Stone Age hunter-gatherers and traces religion through the centuries, from medieval crusaders to modern-day jihadists. Today we regard faith as a personal and private matter, but for most of history faith has informed people’s entire outlook on life, and has often been inseparable from politics. Fields of Blood is a celebration of the ancient religious ideas and movements that have promoted peace and reconciliation across millennia of civilization.
Satish Kumar, a former monk and long-term peace and environmental activist, talks us through his life: his 8,000-mile peace pilgrimage, co-founding the Schumacher College, and his hopes for the future.
Two compelling views of sex and gender in the Middle East. In Superman Is An Arab, her sequel to I Killed Sheherezade, Haddad examines the patriarchal system and machismo that continues to dominate in the Arab world. Sex is entwined in religion and tradition, politics and economics, gender and generations, so it makes the perfect lens for examining the region’s complex social landscape in El Feki’s study of Intimate Life In A Changing Arab World.
The investigative journalist looks Inside The Weird World Of Scientology and paints a devastating picture of this strange organisation – from former Scientologists who tell heartbreaking stories of families torn apart and lives ruined to its current followers who say it is the solution to many of mankind’s problems.
‘The Wales We Want’ conversation mirrors a global initiative by the United Nations, asking people what sort of Wales they want for their children and grandchildren. The final report was launched in March 2015 and we discuss the outcomes and how this will feed in to Welsh Government policy. Davies, Climate Change Commissioner for Wales, and Middleton, entrepreneur, designer and maverick thinker, discuss with Hay on Earth Director Andy Fryers.
How do we understand and respond to what happened in Paris on 7 January? What is the nature of ‘respect’ and ‘offence’ for a satirist? The cartoonist and ‘visual journalist’ Martin Rowson discusses with the writer and Professor of Political Science, Jean-Pierre Filiu. Filiu has collaborated with the French graphic artist David B. on two volumes of Best of Enemies – a graphic history of US–Middle East relations. Chaired by Daniel Hahn, chair of the Society of Authors.
The philosopher imagines a dream school, which includes 12 of the greatest and most colourful thinkers the world has ever known. Each of these ancient philosophers teaches a technique we can use to transform ourselves and live better lives.