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Former Archbishop of Canterbury to deliver Oxford lectures

Stuart Gillespie

Dr Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, is among this term's Humanitas Visiting Professors at Oxford University.

Dr Williams will be giving two lectures in his capacity as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Interfaith Studies, as well as taking part in an 'in-conversation' event with Jon Snow.

Acknowledged internationally as an outstanding theological writer, scholar and teacher, Dr Williams has been involved in many theological, ecumenical and educational commissions. He has written extensively across a wide range of related fields of professional study, including philosophy, theology (especially early and patristic Christianity), spirituality and religious aesthetics. He has also written throughout his career on moral, ethical and social topics and, after becoming archbishop, turned his attention increasingly on contemporary cultural and interfaith issues.

Dr Williams' programme begins on 24 January with his first lecture ('Faith, Force and Authority: does religious belief change our understanding of how power works in society?') followed by the in-conversation event. He will then give his second lecture ('Faith and Human Flourishing: religious belief and ideals of maturity') on 29 January.

Also visiting Oxford this term is General Michael Hayden, as Humanitas Visiting Professor in Intelligence Studies.

General Hayden is the former director of the National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). As director of the CIA, General Hayden was responsible for overseeing the collection of information concerning the plans, intentions and capabilities of America's adversaries; producing timely analysis for decision makers; and conducting covert operations to thwart terrorists and other enemies of the United States.

Before becoming director of the CIA, General Hayden served as the country's first Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence and was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the armed forces. He currently serves as a principal at the Chertoff Group, a security and risk management advisory firm, and as a Distinguished Visiting Professor at George Mason University.

General Hayden will be lecturing on 10 and 12 February with talks titled 'My Government, My Security and Me' and 'Terrorism and Islam's Civil War: Whither the Threat?' respectively.

Humanitas is a series of Visiting Professorships at the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge intended to bring leading practitioners and scholars to both universities to address major themes in the arts, social sciences and humanities.

Created by Lord Weidenfeld, the programme is managed and funded by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue with the support of a series of generous benefactors and administered by the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities (TORCH).