Gearing up to Hebridean Book Festival

Professor Richard Dawkins discussion on his book 'The God Delusion' is eargerly anticipated. Photo: Max Alexander.
Professor Richard Dawkins discussion on his book 'The God Delusion' is eargerly anticipated. Photo: Max Alexander.

The illustrated colour brochure has been published for this year’s FACLAN, the Hebridean Book Festival - which will centre on An Lanntair, Stornoway, from Thursday 1st-Saturday 3rd November.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Creideamh’ (Belief), and will feature outstanding speakers from within and outwith the Gaidhealtacht, including:

Emeritus Professor Donald Meek, one of the leading Gaelic scholars of all time, who will speak on ‘Am Biobull’ (The Bible) and its central role in Gaelic culture.

Morag MacLeod from Scalpay, formerly of the School of Scottish Studies at the University of Edinburgh, and one of the greatest authorities on Gaelic song and folklore, who will present a session on Gaelic psalm singing in ‘Na Salm’ (The Psalms).

Professor Richard Dawkins of the University of Oxford, well-known author of books such as ‘The God Delusion’, who will argue that belief in a supernatural God is both irrational and harmful to society.

The Reverend David Robertson of the Free Church of Scotland, who has challenged the views of Professor Dawkins in ‘The Dawkins Letters’.

Francis Spufford is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a practicing Christian. His book ‘Unapologetic’ is a witty, sharp-tongued personal defence of Christian belief.

Professor Philip Davies, Research Professor of Biblical Studies at the University of Sheffield, who will speak on ‘The Dead Sea Scrolls’.

The programme also includes sessions on novels, poetry, music, film, an exhibition, readings in schools, and events in other parts of the Outer Hebrides.

Launching the brochure, the Festival Director, Roddy Murray of An Lanntair, said:

‘FACLAN is first and foremost a show-case for the literature and culture of the Hebrides, whether this is expressed in Gaelic or English. Belief, whether or not this is overtly religious, has been and is central to the life of many in the islands. Our programme aims to reflect the complexity of different belief systems – traditional and new - in a fast-changing world. We welcome new ideas from wherever they come, but we also ask that respect should be shown to the culture and heritage of the islands.’

FACLAN is organised by An Lanntair with input from the Islands Book Trust and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar Libraries, and supported by Creative Scotland.

Copies of the updated new brochure are available free of charge from An Lanntair, Kenneth Street, Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, HS1 2DS, phone 01851 708480 or email Full details of the updated programme are also on