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Richard Dawkins talks to Joan Bakewell

An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist

Hay Festival 2014, 

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.

Richard Dawkins talks to Joan Bakewell

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Stephen Fry

More Fool Me

Hay Festival 2015, 

Ultra-high-functioning addict meets gravity in this latest volume of autobiography. The writer and actor talks to Peter Florence.

Stephen Fry

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Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Yuval Noah Harari talks to Anita Anand

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Christopher Hitchens talks to Ian McEwan

God Is Not Great

London Events 2007, 
Christopher Hitchens presents his case against religion to a London audience. He talks to Ian McEwan.

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Tom Hollander, James Wood and Jon Canter

The Rev. Diaries

Hay Festival 2014, 

‘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.

Tom Hollander, James Wood and Jon Canter

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Desmond Tutu

The Hamlin Lecture

Hay Festival 2009, 
‘Sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humour, Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless,’ – Nelson Mandela.

Raising money for African charities, our two local Cathedrals, and St Mary's Hay

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Philip Pullman

Hay Festival 2011, 
The novelist talks about his The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ.
The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ - Philip Pullman
Philip Pullman

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Martin Rees, Maggi Dawn, Richard Harries

The Guardian Debate: Is Reason Always Right?

Hay Festival 2010, 
Science and logic are often held up as the only way to answer the modern world’s big questions. But is there a role for instinct, inherited wisdom, or even God? Can religion ever win the intellectual argument? Chaired by Simon Jenkins.
Martin Rees, Maggi Dawn, Richard Harries

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Rowan Williams and Neil MacGregor

Images of Faith – Help or Hindrance?

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Elif Shafak en conversación con Marian Hens

Alhambra 2009, 
La escritora de origen turco Elif Shafak ha publicado novelas escritas en turco, inglés y francés. Su último trabajo de ficción es The bastard of
Istanbul (La bastarda de Estambul). Shafak conversará con la periodista de la BBC Marian Hens sobre diversos aspectos del pensamiento, la cultura y la sociedad en el mundo musulmán.

Se ofrecerá traducción simultánea del inglés al español

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Jane Williams and guests

The Michael Ramsey Prize

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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AC Grayling

The God Argument

Hay Festival 2013, 

What is the alternative to religion as a view of the world and foundation for morality?

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Jane Williams, Robert Hughes, Thomas Reynolds

King James Authorised Version 1

Hay Festival 2011, 
In this first Good Read event celebrating the 400th anniversary of the publication of the King James Bible, the distinguished panel discuss Exodus, Ruth and Lamentations.

See profiles of Jane Williams, Robert Hughes

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Christopher Hitchens

God is Not Great

Hay Festival 2008, 
The great contrarian eviscerates organised religion.

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Melvyn Bragg

The Book of Books: The Radical Impact of the King James Bible, 1611–2011

Hay Festival 2011, 
This became the Bible of wars, of politics, of struggles for democracy and freedoms. It defined attitudes to modern science, education and sex.The Book of Books - Melvyn Bragg

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Reza Aslan

No God But God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam

Hay Festival 2006, 
Can an Islamic state be founded on democratic values? Aslan believes we are now living in the era of 'the Islamic Reformation'. He examines the roots of this reformation and the future of the Islamic faith.

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Julie Burchill talks to Katie Glass

Unbound

Hay Festival 2014, 
The writer and journalist talks about language, argument and her crowd-funded book Unchosen: at 14 Julie Burchill fell in love. Not with a boy, but 'with a whole race of people – the Jews'. The journalist and novelist has been learning Hebrew and even chose Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, as her single record choice for Desert Island Discs.
Julie Burchill talks to Katie Glass

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Steve Jones

The Joy Of Sects

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Simon Schama & Simon Sebag Montefiore

Two Jews...

Hay Festival 2011, 
The two historians from very different backgrounds reflect on their identities and their experiences of being Jewish.
Citizens - Simon Schama

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David Parker

The World’s Oldest Bible: How Technology Shapes Belief

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Peter Hitchens

The Rage Against God

Hay Festival 2010, 
The journalist describes his journey from atheism to an unmodernized Christianity and Why Faith is the Foundation of Civilisation. Chaired by Rosie Goldsmith.
Peter Hitchens

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Roger Crowley

Empires of the Sea

Hay Festival 2009, 
In the sixteenth century the Mediterranean became the battleground for a titanic maritime struggle between Islam and Christianity. Roger Crowley brings to life this extraordinary confrontation, which set frontiers that hold to this day.

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Simon Blackburn

Cambridge 800 Series: Arguing about Religion – Hume Ten, Rest of World Nil

Hay Festival 2009, 
Philosophers tend to roll their eyes when scientists arrive and declaim that they have discovered either that there is a God, or that there isn’t. Blackburn shows why the current debate between militant atheists and militant theists can be improved by paying attention to David Hume.

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Grahame Davies talks to Merryl Wyn Davies

The Dragon and the Crescent

Hay Festival 2011, 
Nine centuries of contact between Wales and Islam. Chaired by the Director of the Muslim Institute.

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Susan Blackmore

Ten Zen Questions

Hay Festival 2010, 
Consciousness, memory and identity are explored through the mutual disciplines of zen practice and scientific theory.

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Mark Rowlands

Running With The Pack: Thoughts From The Road On Meaning And Mortality

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Colin Humphreys

Cambridge Series 1: The Mystery of The Last Supper

Hay Festival 2011, 
Reconciling conflicting Gospel accounts and scientific evidence, the distinguished Cambridge physicist reveals the exact date of the Last Supper in a definitive new timeline of Holy Week.

Professor Sir Colin Humphreys CBE FREng is Professor of Materials Science and Director of Research in the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Selwyn College, Cambridge. He founded and directs the Cambridge Centre for Gallium Nitride. This Centre is developing energy-efficient lighting which is so efficient it will enable the UK to close (or not build) eight power stations. He is also researching a new way to purify water in the developing (and developed) world, which will save millions of lives, and to kill hospital superbugs. 

He founded and directs the Cambridge/Rolls-Royce Centre for Aerospace Materials, which is developing next generation materials for Rolls-Royce jet engines to make them more energy efficient. He is involved in the public understanding of science, and has given public lectures on science throughout the world. He frequently appears on TV, radio and in the national and international press. He has received many national and international medals for his research. He has been the President of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and he is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. On 24 June, 2010 he became the Master of the Armourers and Brasiers’ Company in London. 

In addition, he is interested in dating and reconstructing ancient historical events, particularly events recorded in the Bible. His latest book is The Mystery of the Last Supper: Reconstructing the Final Days of Jesus.

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Yasmina Khadra en conversación con Ignacio Cembrero

Segovia 2009, 
Mohammed Moulessehoul, el escritor argelino afincado en Francia, escribe bajo el seudónimo de Yasmina Khadra. Hablará con el periodista y escritor Ignacio Cembrero sobre su último libro, Lo que el día debe a la noche, el fundamentalismo religioso y su vinculación con el debate intelectual en Francia.

Se ofrecerá traducción simultánea del francés al español

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Christopher Cocksworth, Robert Hughes, Richard Harries, Angel F. Montoya, David Bentley Hart and Thomas Reynolds chaired by Jane Williams

The Michael Ramsey Prize

Hay Festival 2011, 
The theologian discusses the books shortlisted for this year’s Michael Ramsey Prize with the shortlisted authors. The books by those present are: Holding Together, Beloved Dust, The Re-enchantment of Morality, The Theology of FoodAtheist Delusions and Vulnerable Communion.

Full details at www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk

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Charles Freeman

A New History of Early Christianity

Hay Festival 2010, 
From marginal beginnings in Judea Christianity grew into a global, state-sanctioned religion, as vibrant and incredibly diverse movements were brought into orthodox order at the cost of intellectual and spiritual vitality

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Rowan Williams talks to AN Wilson

Dostoevsky: Language, Faith and Fiction

Hay Festival 2009, 
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s reading of the great Russian master asks us to imagine what might be possible if we – characters and readers – saw the world in another light; the light provided by faith.

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Daniel Dennett

Intuition Pumps: And Other Tools For Thinking

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Zena el Khalil en conversación con Guillermo Altares

Segovia 2009, 
Beirut Update, el blog con el que Zena el Khalil ofreció al mundo su visión particular de la guerra en el Líbano en 2006, se convirtió en visita obligada para aquellos que buscaban entender cómo transcurría la vida cotidiana en la capital libanesa durante la contienda. Su libro Beirut, I Love You mezcla diario, autobiografía y novela en una obra que se constituye como un himno a la vida contra la barbarie de la guerra. Entrevistada por Guillermo Altares, director de Babelia y antiguo corresponsal en Líbano.

Se ofrecerá traducción simultánea del inglés al español

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Karen Armstrong

Does God Have a Future?

Hay Festival 2010, 
The writer examines the words Belief, Faith and Mystery and puts the Case for God, asking What Religion Really Means.
Karen Armstrong

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Mary Warnock

Dishonest To God

Hay Festival 2011, 
The moral philosopher argues that to value religion as the essential foundation of morality is a profound and probably dangerous mistake. Chaired by David Aaronovitch.
 
Read more about Baroness Warnock here

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Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

The Raymond Williams Dialogue: The Ideas That Make Us

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Bettany Hughes and Hannah Critchlow

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Tariq Ramadan

The Messenger: The Meanings of the Life of Muhammad

Hay Festival 2008, 
The charismatic scholar sets the story of the Prophet in context.

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Miri Rubin talks to Catherine Pepinster

Mother of God –A History of the Virgin Mary

Hay Festival 2009, 
Mary’s role in the Gospels is a relatively minor one, and yet in the centuries during which Christianity established itself she emerged as a powerful, strange and ungovernable force, endlessly remade and reimagined by wave after wave of devotees, ultimately becoming ‘a sort of God’, in ways that have always made some Christians uneasy.

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Lori Anne Ferrell

The Bible and the People

Hay Festival 2009, 
From manuscripts to Gutenbergs and Gideons we trace how the Bible has been endlessly retailored to meet the changing needs of religion, politics and the reading public while retaining its special status as a sacred text.

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Rt Rev V Gene Robinson

The 2008 President’s Lecture

Hay Festival 2008, 
The Bishop of New Hampshire, whose homosexuality threatens the schism of the Anglican Church discusses The State of the Communion. Chaired by Stephen Bates, author of God’s Own Country: Power and Religion in the USA.

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David Aaronovitch, Rachael Jolley, Tom Holland, David Baddiel, Anita Anand and Jodie Ginsberg

The Index Punch Ups

Hay Festival 2015, 

Five short arguments about flashpoints in the Freedom of Speech debates – porn, blasphemy, Israel, national security. Where do we draw the lines? And why?

David Aaronovitch, Rachael Jolley, Tom Holland, David Baddiel, Anita Anand and Jodie Ginsberg

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John Gray

Gray’s Anatomy

Hay Festival 2010, 
Why is the human imagination to blame for the worst crimes of the twentieth century? Why is progress a pernicious myth? Why is contemporary atheism just a hangover from Christian faith?
John Gray

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Nicholas Lowton, Rhoda Lewis, Peter Florence and Friends

Genesis

Hay Festival 2011, 
We begin a 96-hour reading of the King James Authorised Version of the Bible that will run in two 4-hour sessions daily in parish churches on either side of the border. Full listings will be online at hayfestival.org/bible. All welcome.

Entry to this event is free but you must obtain a ticket

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Karen Armstrong

Fields of Blood – Religion and the History of Violence

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Karen Armstrong

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Satish Kumar talks to Andy Fryers

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Satish Kumar talks to Andy Fryers

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Richard Harries, Christopher Cocksworth, John Inge

King James Authorised Version 2

Hay Festival 2011, 
The trinity of bishops (Oxford, Coventry and Worcester) discuss Philemon, 1 Corinthians and Jonah.

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Joumana Haddad and Shereen El Feki talk to Joan Bakewell

Sex And The Citadel

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Andrew Mottram

The God Boxes

Hay Festival 2009, 
Until the Reformation churches were huge multi-functional spaces. There was no other centre. No pubs. No civic centres or courts. Everything happened in the parish church. Then it all got stuck. The church became a ‘God box’ full of pews. The radical Director of Ecclesiastical Property Solutions discusses the role of church buildings in their communities today.

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Ed Kessler

Cambridge 800 Series: Isaac and Ishmael – what next?

Hay Festival 2009, 
The Executive Director of the Centre for Study of Muslim–Jewish Relations surveys the state of play.

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Germaine Greer

The Forgotten Tradition: The Psalms and English Poetry

Hay Festival 2011, 
Some of the greatest treasures of the English language were written for the Coverdale Bible, the Bible Shakespeare read, and the Geneva Bible that was suppressed by order of James I.

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Maggie Ross talks to Rachael Kerr

Silence

Hay Festival 2011, 
The Anglican solitary and theologian, whose Writing the Icon of the Heart has been described by Rowan Williams as ‘a really transformative book’, explains how ‘the work of silence’ can help us toward a deeper understanding of God. Duration 45 minutes.

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John Sweeney talks to Guto Harri

The Church Of Fear

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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John Polkinghorne and Nicholas Beale

Questions of Truth

Hay Festival 2009, 
The distinguished scientist and theologian and his philosopher interlocutor offer 51 Responses to Questions about God, Science and Belief.

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Stephen Green talks to Evan Davis

Good Value

Hay Festival 2010, 
The chairman of HSBC and the British Bankers Association is also an ordained Anglican priest. He offers his Reflections on Money, Morality and an Uncertain World.

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Karen Armstrong talks to Melvyn Bragg

The Great Transformation

Hay Festival 2006, 
Between 800 and 300 BC there was an explosion of new religious concepts fundamentally transforming our understanding of what it is to be human. But why did Socrates, Buddha, Confucius, Jeremiah, Lao Tzu and others all emerge in this 500-year span? And why do they have such similar ideas about humanity?

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Peter Davies and Andy Middleton talk to Andy Fryers

The Wales We Want

Hay Festival 2015, 

‘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.

Peter Davies and Andy Middleton talk to Andy Fryers

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Martin Rowson and Jean-Pierre Filiu

After Charlie Hebdo

Hay Festival 2015, 

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.

Martin Rowson and Jean-Pierre Filiu

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Karen Armstrong

The Bible: The Biography

Hay Festival 2008, 
Karen Armstrong traces the gestation of the Bible to reveal a complex and contradictory document created by scores of people over hundreds of years, serving many constituencies and contexts.

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Jules Evans

Philosophy For Life And Other Dangerous Situations

Hay Festival 2013, 

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.

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Free to Offend?

Joan Bakewell, Madeleine Bunting, Ziauddin Sardar, Philip Hensher, Reza Aslan and Anthony Julius

Hay Festival 2006, 
How are both religious sensibility and freedom of expression to be accommodated in pluralistic societies? Is offence the price believers must pay for living in a free society? Or do those who advocate free speech have to accept that in some circumstances other beliefs and principles may have to take priority?