2013 Shelley Lecture – Is Literature Good for Us?

This year’s Shelley Lecture is presented by Rebecca Goldstein.

The conflict between literature and moral philosophy is so old that Plato referred to the "ancient quarrel" between them. He only intensified the quarrel by banishing the poets from his utopia. But which has contributed more to the moral advances we have made? Rebecca Goldstein ponders the question.

Rebecca Goldstein is an internationally renowned novelist and a Research Associate in the Department of Psychology, Harvard University. She has been described as a writer whose novels and short stories dramatize the concerns of philosophy without sacrificing the demands of imaginative storytelling. Goldstein’s writings emerge as brilliant arguments for the belief that fiction in our time may be the best vehicle for involving readers in questions of morality and existence.

Commenting on the announcement, BHA head of Education and Promotion Sara Passmore said, ‘The British Humanist Association is honoured to have Rebecca Goldstein present this year’s Shelley Lecture. ‘Is Literature Good for Us?’ promises to be a intriguing and fascinating look at literature and moral philosophy’. 

Further details can be found here – http://humanism.org.uk/events/?page=CiviCRM&q=civicrm/event/info&id=21&reset=1



Notes to editors

Time and date:  19.00 – 20.30, Wednesday June 5th, 2013
Venue: Nelson Mandela Lecture Theatre, Saïd Business School, University Of Oxford, Park End Street, OX1 1HP
Tickets: BHA members and students £7.00, General tickets £12.00

For further comment or press passes contact Sara Passmore on 020 7079 3586 or by email at sara@humanism.org.uk.

About the speaker

Rebecca Goldstein has written five novels, a number of short stories and essays, and biographical studies of mathematician Kurt Gödel and philosopher Baruch Spinoza. In 1996 Goldstein became a MacArthur Fellow, receiving the prize which is popularly known as the “Genius Award.” In 2008, she was designated a Humanist Laureate by the International Academy of Humanism, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Emerson College, where she gave the commencement address. And in 2011 she was designated Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association.

About the British Humanist Association

The British Humanist Association is the national charity working on behalf of non-religious people who seek to live ethical and fulfilling lives on the basis of reason and humanity. It promotes a secular state and equal treatment in law and policy of everyone, regardless of religion or belief.