The George Richardson Lecture: Tolstoy or Kierkegaard? Dilemmas of Quaker Biblical Interpretation

2nd June 2021 - 2nd June 2021
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

The eminent critic George Steiner entitled his first book Tolstoy or Dostoevsky. In it he explores the fundamental differences between these two great writers which contribute to their radically different approaches to interpreting the New Testament.

In this lecture, Hugh S. Pyper will draw on Steiner’s insights while substituting for Dostoevsky, a figure whose writings are often compared to his: the Danish philosopher Kierkegaard. This is because both Kierkegaard and Tolstoy have strong connections to Quakers. By exploring the Quaker interest in the two thinkers, Hugh hopes to uncover some common roots but also to suggest that a necessary tension may have been obscured. Tolstoy seems to have triumphed, but at a cost. The Quaker tradition of biblical reading contains elements that chime with both of these approaches and the lecture concludes by suggesting ways in which the balance could be regained.

Course category:

This course will involve:

Live talk

Accessibility info:

On the booking form, there is a chance for you to let us know about any accessibility or communications adjustments that will enable you to participate more fully in the course. Unfortunately, we cannot offer closed captions on any live sessions for this course.

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