UNAPOLOGETIC: Francis Spufford

Coleridge said that the best argument for Christianity is that ‘it fits the human heart’.  In Unapologetic, Francis Spufford, the acclaimed historian and science writer, has written a witty, sharp-tongued personal defence of Christian belief, a remarkable account of what believing in God is actually like and a defence of Christian emotions – of their intelligibility, of their grown-up dignity.

Spufford says ‘What goes on inside believers is mysterious.  It appears to be a kind of anxious resistance to reality, but the funny thing is that to me it’s exactly the other way around.  In my experience, it’s belief that involves the most uncompromising attention to the nature of things and demands that you dispense with illusion after illusion’.

Unapologetic takes on Dawkins’ The God Delusion and Christopher Hitchens’ God is Not Great.  It’s a book for believers who are fed up with being patronised, for non-believers curious about how faith can possibly work in the twenty-first century, and for anyone who feels there is something indefinably wrong, literalistic, anti-imaginative and intolerant about the way the atheist case is now being made.

Francis Spufford’s first book, I May Be Some Time, won the Writers’ Guild Award for Best Non-Fiction Book of 1996, the Banff Mountain Book Prize and a Somerset Maugham Award. It was followed by The Child That Books Built, Backroom Boys, and most recently, Red Plenty. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge.

Guardian Extract

Guardian Review by Richard Holloway

TLS Review


Professor Keith Ward has, with much regret, had to withdraw from Faclan.  Tickets remain valid for this new event.

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