Renowned literary critic to lecture in Nottingham

01 Feb 2012 15:01:00.000


One of Britain’s most influential literary critics is to give two public lectures at The University of Nottingham.

Terry Eagleton, Distinguished Professor of English Literature at Lancaster University, will give two lectures entitled ‘Culture and the death of God’ on February 14 and 15.

Professor Eagleton is giving the Firth Memorial Lectures 2012, as a guest of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies. The lectures will explore the interaction between critical theory and religion in modern society, subjects on which Professor Eagleton has written and lectured extensively over the past 40 years.

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According to The Independent, Professor Eagleton is ‘the man who succeeded F.R. Leavis as Britain’s most influential academic critic’. He has written around 50 books and was previously Professor of English Literature at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford.

His books include Literary Theory (1983) which remains to this day an academic best-seller, The Ideology of the Aesthetic (1990), The Illusions of Postmodernism (1996), a best-selling memoir, The Gatekeeper (2001) and more recent works such as Holy Terror (2005) and Trouble with Strangers (2008).

A leading literary figure

He has been a leading figure in literary studies since the 1970s and is a Fellow of both the British Academy and the English Association. He has held visiting appointments at such universities as Cornell, Duke, Iowa, Melbourne, Notre Dame, Trinity College Dublin, and Yale.

Professor Tom O’Loughlin, of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at The University of Nottingham, said: “For several decades Terry Eagleton has been at the forefront of critical theory in literature and culture, and has also addressed the intersection of culture and religion in our society.

“These lifelong interests are reflected in the title Professor Eagleton has given to his Firth Lectures: Culture and the death of God. At a time when the government is calling for a greater involvement of faith groups in the Big Society, these lectures are both timely and significant.”

Firth Memorial Lectures

The Firth Memorial Lectures take place at 5.30pm on February 14 and 15, in studio seven at The University of Nottingham’s King’s Meadow Campus, Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2NR.

The Lectureship was founded by the Reverend John d’ewe Evelyn Firth in memory of his father, John Benjamin Firth, Historian of Nottingham and his mother Helena Gertrude Firth. The lecturer is appointed biennially by the Council of The University of Nottingham, on the recommendation of the Senate of the University, and under the terms of the Trust he or she delivers a public lecture or lectures on some aspect of the Christian faith in relation to contemporary problems.

The first person to hold the Lectureship was the renowned theologian Paul Tillich. Since then it has been held by a series of eminent theologians and philosophers, who have included among others Baroness Warnock and Professor Jurgen Moltmann.

The lecture is free and open to the public; booking is not required. More information is available from

PICTURE reproduced with the permission of Michael Morse.

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More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

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Story credits

More information is available from Professor Tom O’Loughlin, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Nottingham, on +44 (0)115 951 5672,
Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park


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