Writings | Essays & Talks
The Blake Society, 25 October 2005: St James’s Church, Piccadilly. I see that the title of this lecture is given as BLAKE’S DARK MATERIALS. Now in the lecturer’s handbook, the second rule says “You need take no obsessive notice of the title that has been announced in advance.” Whether Blake’s materials are dark or not I couldn’t really say, but I am going to talk about Blake, partly, and partly about religion. Appropriate, perhaps, in a place like this, but you might think not appropriate from someone whose reputation is that of a scoffer or mocker or critic of religion; but I haven’t come here to scoff or mock. Nor have I come here to recant, as a matter of fact. I’m profoundly interested in religion, and I think it’s extremely important to understand it. I’ve been trying to understand it all my life, and every so often it’s useful to put one’s thoughts in order; but I shall never like God.
This is the text of a lecture I gave at the University of East Anglia in 2005. It sums up much of what I believe to be true about education, literature, and moral understanding.
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Albion, or Teaching at Liberty
The University of Central England in Birmingham, having given me an honorary degree, invited me in 2004 to give a lecture. I took the chance to imagine a better England than the one we live in.
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This was the first extended piece I wrote about education. I wanted to say what I thought had gone wrong with it, and suggest some better ways of doing things. The lecture was given during the Oxford Literary Festival in 2003.
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