Lent talks on BBC Radio 4

Judy Kirby listens to a talk by Will Self

Novelist Will Self could be labelled an angry old man. But he has charisma and can certainly put over an argument. The ingenious suggestion he makes in the first BBC Radio 4 Lent talks (24 February) is that we are worshipping art rather than God these days. The churches are empty; the galleries are heaving with people.  Art and religion were good friends at one stage, says Self. But they did split up, notably after two world wars had introduced a layer of cynicism and irony into society. Art quit the temple after the second world war, Self muses. He has detected a move to ‘aesthetic humanism’ in which the priests are curators and administrators of cultural life.

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