College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

1: Representing reality

Lord Williams of Oystermouth's Gifford Lecture series is made of six lectures under the overall title ‘Making representations: religious faith and the habits of language’; the first lecture of the series, is entitled 'Representing reality'.

Lecture abstract

When we speak about the world we inhabit, we do so in terms that go well beyond simply listing the elements of what we perceive; that is, we construct schematic models, we extrapolate, we invent, and we use our imagination. If we think harder about what is involved in representing things (rather than simply describing or replicating them), we may discern something more. We may discover that the way believers talk about God is closely linked to the ways in which what we call ‘ordinary’ speech seeks a truthfulness that is more than simply replication. Moreover, we may understand how speech is regularly stimulated to do this in moments of linguistic crisis or disruption.

Lecture video