Foundations of Faith

Hosted by the Faith Centre and LSE Literary Festival

Faith Centre, 2nd Floor, Saw Swee Hock Student Centre,


Sarah Perry

Sarah Perry

Professor Graham Ward

Professor Graham Ward


The Revd Dr James Walters

A conversation exploring the role of religious belief in European life and literature.

Despite the increased religious diversity of Western Europe and the rise of the “New Atheists”, questions of the Christian origins of our society and their enduring relevance have been prominent in both our public life and literature in recent years. David Cameron controversially asserted that the UK remains a “Christian country” and novelists from Colm Tóibín to Philip Pullman have been exploring Christian themes. What relevance does belief have to contemporary cultural life? How important a foundation is faith to society today?

Sarah Perry (@sarahgperry) was born in Essex in 1979, and grew up in a deeply religious home. Kept apart from contemporary culture, she spent her childhood immersed in classic literature, Victorian hymns and the King James Bible. She has a PhD in creative writing at Royal Holloway which she completed under the supervision of Andrew Motion. Her first novel After Me Comes the Flood, was published by Serpent’s Tail in 2014 and was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and won the East Anglian Book of the Year. A winner of the Shiva Naipaul Memorial prize and a Royal Holloway doctoral studentship, she was Writer-in-Residence at Gladstone's Library in January 2013.

Graham Ward is Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford. His books include Barth, Derrida and the Language of TheologyRadical Orthodoxy: A New Theology (edited with John Milbank and Catherine Pickstock), Cities of GodThe Certeau ReaderCultural Transformation and Religious PracticeTrue ReligionChrist
and Culture,
 Religion and Political Thought and most recently Unbelievable: Why We Believe and Why We Don't.

James Waltersis Chaplain & Interfaith Adviser at LSE.

The Faith Centre (@LSEFaithCentre) is the new home for LSE's diverse religious activities, our interfaith programme, and a reflective space for all staff and students.

This event forms part of the LSE Space for Thought Literary Festival 2015: Foundations.


A podcast of this event is available to download from Foundations of Faith

Podcasts and videos of many LSE events can be found at the LSE Public Lectures and Events: podcasts and videos channel.