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The full programme is available for this year’s festival, 25 May to 4 June - you can download a PDF of the programme here. We very much look forward to seeing you in May.
Click here to see a list of sold out events
Protestants: The Faith that Made the Modern World
Event 21 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
500 years ago, Martin Luther challenged the authority of the Pope with a radical new vision of what Christianity could be. The revolution he set in motion has toppled governments, upended social norms, and transformed millions of people’s understanding of their relationship with God. In his dazzling global history charting five centuries of innovation and change, Ryrie makes the case that the world we live in was indelibly shaped by Protestants.
Things That Matter
Event 72 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The Australian writer and thinker is often described as the world’s most influential living philosopher. He is known especially for his work on the ethics of our treatment of animals, for his controversial critique of the sanctity of life ethics in bioethics, and for his writing on the obligations of the affluent to aid those living in extreme poverty. His books include Animal Liberation, Practical Ethics, The Most Good You Can Do, The Life You Can Save, Famine, Affluence and Morality, and most recently Ethics in the Real World: 82 Brief Essays on Things That Matter. He talks to the Festival president.
Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities
Event 111 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The historian tells the story of the three-in-one great cities of Byzantium, Constantinople and Istanbul, which has long been the gateway between East and West. Archaeologists have measured 42 layers of human inhabitation here on the Bosphorus over the past 6,000 years. It has been the capital of the Roman, Byzantine, Latin and Ottoman empires and, for many years, was known simply as The City.
The Baillie Gifford Prize Lecture: East West Street
Event 116 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Sands’s inquiry into the origins of 'genocide' and 'crimes against humanity' is also a personal quest for his family in the Ukrainian city of Lviv. It won this year’s Baillie Gifford Prize. Hay Festival-goers will have heard Sands explore many of the themes of the story here over the past decade. We revisit East West Street this year to honour one of the greatest works of literature of the festival’s lifetime; a book that might be read around Europe and around the world to inform the way contemporary history is developing.
Enlightenment and Jihad
Event 122 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
Bellaigue tells the forgotten stories of key figures and reformers of Islam’s past 200 years in The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle Between Faith and Reason; from Egypt’s visionary ruler Muhammad Ali to brave radicals such as Iran’s first feminist Qurrat al-Ayn. Terror in France: The Rise of Jihad in the West by Gilles Kepel is the explosive account of the radicalisation of a segment of Muslim youth that led to the 2016 atrocities at Bataclan and in Nice, and of the failure of governments in France and across Europe to address it.
Cambridge Series: The Moor’s Last Stand
Event 127 • • Venue: Good Energy Stage
The poignant story of Boabdil, the last Muslim king of Granada. Betrayed by his family and undermined by faction and internal conflict, Boabdil was defeated in 1492 by the forces of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of the newly united kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. The Christian victory marked the completion of the long Christian reconquest of Spain and ended seven centuries in which Christians, Muslims and Jews had, for the most part, lived peacefully and profitably together in La Convivencia.
A Quaker Life
Event 147 • • Venue: Baillie Gifford Stage
A conversation about how their Quaker faith has informed the life and work of three writers: the actor Sheila Hancock’s books include the memoir Just Me and the novel Miss Carter’s War; award-winning poet Philip Gross’s collections include The Water Table, Deep Field and the forthcoming A Bright Acoustic; Tracy Chevalier’s novels include Girl With a Pearl Earring, At the Edge of the Orchard and now New Boy.
Islam: The Essentials
Event 154 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
Whether the issue is violence, terrorism, women’s rights or slavery, Muslims are today expected to provide answers and to justify what Islam is – or is not. Here’s an introduction to the basics from the Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony’s College, Oxford. Chaired by Sarfraz Manzoor.
Blood and Faith–The Purging of Muslim Spain 1492-1614
Event 165 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
In 1609, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory or be killed. In a brutal and traumatic exodus, entire families were forced to abandon the homes and villages where they had lived for generations. An estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory, making it – then – the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history. Chaired by Abdul-Rehman Malik.
Reformations 9: Integration
Event 173 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
Baroness Warsi’s book The Enemy Within identifies British Muslims as the latest in a long line of ‘others’ to be feared and demonised. The UK’s first Muslim cabinet minister explores questions of cultural difference, terrorism, surveillance, social justice, religious freedom, integration and the meaning of ‘British values’ with Helena Kennedy. She proffers necessary and inconvenient truths and proposes new ways forward for British Muslims, politicians and society.
Reformations 10: Ageing
Event 186 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
How will health improvements and a declining birth rate, economic uncertainty and political turbulence affect an ageing population in Britain and around the world? There are new challenges here for states and for individuals. How might we re-imagine lives that run four score years and ten, and longer? Harper is Professor of Gerontology at Oxford University and Director of the Oxford Institute of Ageing. She is the author of How Population Change will Transform Our World. On 1 May she will be become the Director of The Royal Institution. Chaired by Guto Harri.
Event 191 • • Venue: Oxfam Moot
The historian conjures the supreme C16th monarchs whose empires and kingdoms shaped the modern world. He explores the schism in Christianity and the flowering of Islam in the Ottoman Empire. He shows with exquisite erudition how Henry VIII of England, Francis I of France, Charles V of Spain and Suleiman the Magnificent forged the politics, culture and religion of their time and ours.
The Beauty and the Horror: Searching for God in a Suffering World
Event 269 • • Venue: Tata Tent
Life is at once wonderful and appalling, beautiful and horrific. How can we live with this contradiction? And how can we believe in a just and loving God in the face of all the evils of the world? Lord Harries was Bishop of Oxford for 19 years.
The Catholics: The Church and its People in Britain and Ireland, from the Reformation to the Present Day
Event 281 • • Venue: Tata Tent
The survival of Catholicism in Britain, in the face of persecution and institutionalised discrimination (‘the enemy within’ again…) is the triumph of more than simple faith. Hattersley argues that it is the victory of moral and spiritual unbending certainty. Catholicism survives because it does not compromise. It is a characteristic that excites admiration in even a hardened atheist.
Letters to a Young Muslim
Event 304 • • Venue: Llwyfan Cymru – Wales Stage
In a series of letters addressed to his sons, Ghobash encourages them to face issues others insist are not relevant, not applicable and even Islamophobic. These letters serve as a clear-eyed inspiration for the next generation of Muslims to understand how to be faithful to their religion and still navigate through the complexities of today’s world. Omar Saif Ghobash is the Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to Russia.