Chief Rabbi invited to Hay Festival

Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks is to appear at one of Britain’s top literary festivals next month.

He will discuss the future of Judaism, Jewish life and Israel in the 21st century at the Guardian Hay Festival in Wales, in conversation with BBC presenter Ed Stourton.

This year’s line-up, with Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, and South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has an emphasis on religion.

“Hay’s been a bastion of Dawkins-and-Hitchenite anti-theism to the point at which that’s become the new orthodoxy,” said festival director Peter Florence. “So in true contrarian spirit it seems a good opportunity to question every assumption, and to listen to the best and brightest of the faith communities.”

Other Jewish guests include Howard Jacobson, talking about his latest novel The Act of Love, and Dannie Abse on his New Selected Poems.

There will also be a recital of the poetry of Sir Arnold Wesker to mark the 50th anniversary of his first play.

    Last updated: 10:32am, April 30 2009