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Lord Roy Hattersley lecture in York Minster

Lord Roy Hattersley, former deputy leader of the Labour Party, will deliver the first in a new season of Ebor Lectures at York Minster on 3 October.

The free lecture on ‘Atheism and ethics: Are God and the good life inseparable?’ is part of a series of seven Ebor lectures entitled The State of Religion? Establishment, Tolerance and Civic Society, which focus upon the role of religion in civic society; the contemporary relevance of an established Church; the rise of ‘new atheism’ and its implications for the role of religion.

Commenting on his forthcoming lecture at York Minster, Lord Hattersley said: “In the good society, power and wealth are distributed as equally as is possible. That greater equality increases, rather than diminishes, the sum of freedom and, in the long term, benefits not only the poor but also the wealthy who contribute to the process of redistribution. It would be an impertinence for me, an atheist, to argue that defence, or even tolerance, of the divisions which scar our country and the world are incompatible with the Christian ethic. But I am entitled to express surprise that men and women who believe that we are all one in the sight of God accept, or even promote, great disparities in the quality of life on earth.”

Lord Roy Hattersley is a politician turned writer.  He was elected to Parliament in 1964 and served in each of Harold Wilson’s governments and in Jim Callaghan’s Cabinet.  In 1983 he became deputy leader of the Labour Party.  

As well as contributing to a host of national newspapers, Lord Hattersley has written nineteen books including the much acclaimed Who Goes Home?  His latest book is entitled David Lloyd George: The Great Outsider. 

The 2012-13 Ebor lectures are organised by York St John University, York Minster, York Institute for Contemporary Theology and the Methodist Church.

Since launching in 2006, the lecture series has established an enviable reputation with prestigious speakers, promoting debate on topical issues and broadening discussion. Past speakers have included the Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs; the Rt Revd. and the Rt Hon Richard Harries, Former Bishop of Oxford; Mr Peter Taylor, journalist and BBC Presenter; Dr Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury; Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York; Robert Peston, the BBC’s Business Editor; the Rt Hon Tony Benn, legendary parliamentarian; and Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregation of the Commonwealth, Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks.

Admission by ticket only, begins at 6.30pm and the lectures start at 7.00pm. Each lecture is followed by a short question and answer session with an anticipated end time of 8.30pm. Tickets are free and can be booked online at www.yorksj.ac.uk/eborlectures or by contacting the Ebor Lectures Co-ordinator on T: 01904 876474 or E: eborlectures@yorksj.ac.uk