Nicky Campbell presents debate from Oasis Academy Lord's Hill, Southampton. The panel discuss if women are holding themselves back and if evidence is a problem for religion.
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on The Big Questions:
Do women hold themselves back?
And the problems posed
by evidence for religions.
I'm Nicky Campbell.
Welcome to The Big Questions.
Today we're live from Oasis Academy
Lord's Hill in Southampton.
to The Big Questions.
just at the BBC that the relative
status and pay of women has been
a hot topic in recent weeks.
At Davos, that gathering
of the world's rich and powerful
elite, only a fifth
of the attendees were female.
Mentoring schemes and ways to stop
women being talked over at meetings
or seeing their contributions
ignored or stolen by
men were discussed.
But there's nothing new there.
And last Sunday,
at the Grammy Awards,
only 17 out of 86 awards
went to women.
The Grammys' male president caused
a furore when he said women had
to step up if they wanted more
success in the music industry.
Are women holding themselves back?
Doctor Catherine Hakim, welcome. Key
issues in women's work. We are going
to address the
to address the whole #metoo
business, campaign that everybody is
celebrating at the moment. It is
celebrating at the moment. It is a
campaign, and you say that women can
hold themselves back. What are the
key ways in which women are holding
The key thing is
that women don't ask and that has
been shown in study after study.
Women fail to ask for promotion,
failed to put themselves forward for
promotion, fail to ask for pay
rises, and don't negotiate in the
way that men do. Studies showing
that men and women who graduate from
the same law school, they end up
with very different salaries in
their very first job, and that is
because young man right out of law
school did negotiate better salaries
and the women just said thank you to
whatever was offered. That is what
is happening throughout our careers.
Those women who are determined,
careerist, committed to a lifetime
career, there is no problem for
them. Look at Helen Morrissey, CEO
of Newton asset management for
decades. One of the top earning
women in the country. But on the
other hand, there is the case that
even today, women who are achieving
in their particular occupation or
career are still judged more harshly
than men and the absolutely classic
example of that is the Vice
Chancellor of Bath university. She
doubled and tripled the size of the
university in terms of student
numbers and income and turnover, and
she was there for 15 years, and yet
she was criticised for having a
remuneration package that recognised
her achievement is.
If she had been
a man that would never have
That would never have
happened to a man. When men achieve,
they are not criticised. When women
achieve, they are subjected to a
degree of scrutiny and criticism and
fault finding that is completely
unreasonable and unfair.
is that, Professor Emma Rees?
think it is the fault of larger
social structures. The workplace is
a microcosm of society more broadly.
I do agree with one point that
Just the one
question I -- just the one?
one. The individual can only exist
within social structures. If we are
conditioning girls and boys from
very young ages into certain modes
of behaviour as being appropriate,
certain occupations as being
potentially ones that they can
enter, then we are sending out a
very powerful message that becomes
absorbed to the point where it
appears almost natural. But actually
those gendered qualities, the kind
of language we use about men and
women in the workplace, he is
assertive, she is bossy, for
He is ambitious and she is
kind of thing. Those are not about
innate qualities. It is about how we
regard from a very early age what we
think boys and girls are capable of.
If you say to a young girl what do
you want to be when you grow up? She
is unlikely to say astronaut,
firefighter, police officer, because
she has been conditioned into
believing that some occupations
simply will not be for her.
doing the conditioning? As the
French recognising, the word
socialised is a result of mothers.
Mothers are systematically treating
girl babies that boy babies
differently. It has been shown in
research, even women who are trying
really hard to treat them the same
and give them exactly the same
upbringing, we have found that
mothers treat their boys
Mothers are complicit
Mothers are the culprits.
You are complicit in this debate
because of your language. You said
that women fail in the workplace to
ask for promotion and they fail to
ask for more money. Are you not
complicit in your very use of
language itself? It sounds like
victim blaming to me.
That is the
easy reaction to research evidence
that women do not put themselves
forward for promotion. In the civil
service they actually had a scheme
to encourage women to put themselves
forward for a promotion each time a
competition was announced.
they put themselves forward for
The main reason is that
actually we talk about women as if
they are rolled the same and
homogenous. But actually there are
three very different groups in the
workforce. There are careerist women
who are really prioritising their
career over family and private life.
They are about 20%. It is not at all
surprising that in the figures you
were quoting just now, around 20% of
women are going to be in the top
echelons of any occupational ladder
or career, music, politics, etc.
Around 20% of women actually
prioritise family life. Yes, they
have jobs between leaving school or
university, whatever, getting
married and having children, and
they want those jobs to be good
jobs, well-paid jobs, they are not
in any way lesser jobs. But then
they probably drop out of the
workforce permanently after they
have children. And then in between
you have got the people who try to
have the best of both worlds. And it
is the people who want the best of
both worlds who are very often
ambivalent, divided in their
priorities. They want a career, they
want a good job, but they also want
to prioritise the family and that is
where they are split.
The best of
both worlds, what are you hearing?
am with Francesca absolutely about
how we have got to be alert to the
nuances of language. To say that
mothers are the culprits is
up their children in a certain way
and mothers are victims, as you put
it, or they behave the way that they
do because of the social construct
in which they have grown up.
Absolutely. It is about the social
construct and visualisation. It is a
terrible cliche but actually it is
wonderful because I believe that! If
she can't see it, she can't be it.
When she looks at the FTSE 100, she
will see only seven women CEOs
currently. When she looks at
Parliament is worldwide, she will
see only 19% of women involved in
those in a powerful way. We are not
giving her the message from our
broader cultural and social place
that actually more is able to be
achieved by her.
LO wants to come in
here. Professor, I will come back in
To answer the question,
the majority of women don't hold
themselves back. The majority are
self assured and confident and know
what they want from life. To say
anything differently would be
insulting. I think what is holding
women back is not social structures
and sexism, it is not the
patriarchy, I actually think it is
the discussion about women's
equality. Unfortunately I think it
is a contemporary feminist movement
holding women back, in many ways.
This conversation sheds light on
what it is doing. It says women are
oppressed by language. It says when
they go into the boardroom, they
need schooling on how to speak up in
meetings, as you said in the opening
thing, they are weak flowers who
need a leg up, helping hand. Putting
out that message is far more
damaging than worrying about how
many women are in the FTSE 100. Most
of them don't care about the FTSE
100 because we are never going to
get to that position in life. The
great that you need to see it to be
it is really telling. It is this
focus on symbolism. A world that is
really different from the majority
of women's lives. Contemporary
feminists are very obsessed with the
pay gap, the myth of the pay gap,
women's language, sexist language,
all this stuff that bypasses most
women. Genuinely, unfortunately, it
is contemporary feminism and the
discussion around it that is mostly
holding them back today.
It has not
bypassed most women. It has a
material effect on their day-to-day
function in broader culture. Of
course it does. Those economic
decisions are coming from
This is the
interesting thing. I am sure we will
get onto a discussion about the K
gap in relation to what has been
happening at the BBC and in
Hollywood. -- is the pay gap. The
panic over extremely rich women
earning varying degrees of hundreds
of thousands of pounds does bypass
most women because we are not having
a genuine conversation about the
lives of women and men,
working-class women and men.
the fault feminism?
I am not saying
it is a fault of feminism. I am not
saying that women are conspiring to
women over and that would be
ridiculous. The narrative, that
women are weak, that they are
oppressed by social structures, that
they are at a disadvantage to men,
and there are very few social
structures that oppress women any
more. The abortion law is the only
place where women are legally
So women are
It is illegal to
discriminate against women on the
basis of sex. Women are more free
than they ever have been. That is a
fantastic fact. 100 years since some
women got the vote and we are in a
fantastic place and yet we are still
pretending that this is a terrible
world for us and I find that
So many points to pick
up on. The rest of the front row is
wobbling! Professor, I will come to
you in a moment to talk about your
research but can I come to you?
Would you mind? You were nodding all
the way through what she was saying.
In the bowtie, just come forward.
She was saying part of the problem
is feminism. Why were you agreeing
Absolutely, I pretty much
agree with everything she just said.
I am a feminist myself and I do
think men and women should be equal.
I believe we have absolutely
achieved that. We have got to
remember that our Prime Minister is
a woman and we have lots of women in
the Cabinet and we have more women
in positions of power.
So we are
there, we have arrived?
We have. And
now it is just down to individuals
to work hard and achieve.
It is OK to talk about the
FTSE 100 and it is OK to talk about
women in positions of power in
politics, but if you look at more
real-life examples, the teaching
profession is dominated by women and
general classroom teachers, but if
you go up to headteachers, a much
higher proportion are actually mail.
It is OK to look wider, but you can
see is that we do not have equality.
I will come to you, and you as well
because we will talk about the
#metoo thing as well. Professor, you
have done this research. Binna
Kandola, have women been conditioned
to be biased against their own sex?
Your question originally was why
don't women put themselves forward.
The response that came back was that
women fail to put themselves
forward, so it was a women's fault.
Where women do put themselves
forward, they are criticised for it,
so they are conditioned that if they
put their head up, they will be
criticised for doing it and they
will learn not to put themselves in
that position. In addition to that,
the work we have done on the
leadership prototype, whether we
realise it or not, when we think
about leaders, we think about a man.
Is there an unconscious bias in
women towards male leaders.
and women. When you think a better
leader, you think about a man.
Characteristics we associate with a
leader, dominance, assertion, they
are characteristics associated with
the stereotype of a man. The
stereotypes of women, compassion,
care, empathy, men can be
compassionate, caring and
empathetic, but those
characteristics are least linked to
the leadership prototype. There will
be a pro-male bias in men and women
when we think about leaders. It is a
generational thing. It just kind
of... That stereotype has been
around for a long time.
How do you
It takes a long time. You
can break it. Discussions like this
Delighted to be of assistance!
There are things we can do when
making promotion decisions, we need
health fair we are being in
the decisions were making. Give us
an extremely simple things we could
do, if we could be bothered, and we
are not bothered enough.
that was done in the civil service
and was very effective was they had
a new rule that every single
selection panel, whether for a new
job or promotion, had to have at
least woman on it. Better to have
more than one because, of course,
these panels have five, six or seven
people. As soon as they had one
woman on every panel you were not
allowed to have a panel with no
woman. You couldn't say they were
not available or she was on holiday
or whatever, you had to have a
woman. Immediately the promotion
rate for women change.
fascinating. John Evans, should we
be pushing through quotas,
affirmative action? In the
workplace, on the boards,
parliaments, wherever? 50/50?
short answer is yes. You had to
understand the context, we all do.
There has been 1000 years or more of
male dominance in this country.
Unravelling all of that so women get
a fair deal is enormously difficult.
A lot more than 1000 years.
Francesca is a biblical scholar, she
will tell you! A long time.
have built up all sorts of things,
strange things have been mentioned.
When you go for appointments, men
characteristically talk about what
they are going to do, in normal
parlance this is called boasting.
This is what I'm going to do. Women
talk about what they have done. And
we have talked ourselves -- taught
ourselves that what is important is
not achievement but what some people
might call EXPLETIVE or boasting for
the future, that is very much a male
characteristic. We sustained male
dominance by giving these strange
things. You have to breakthrough.
That is the unconscious bias.
have to breakthrough by giving
things like Luiters. There has been
positive discrimination for men for
1000 years and more, let's have a
bit of positive discrimination for
women as a corrective action to give
a bit of fairness.
Honestly, if I
thought I had been asked here to
talk today because I was a woman, I
would have walked out. I think it is
deeply insulting to suggest that
gender should come into the question
of a woman's position in her
appointment. Lego 's and quotas are
basically saying that women need an
extra helping hand to get to the
position that men are in. Mutch
leg-ups and quotas. With greatest
respect to the professors, this
quack psychoanalysis about men and
women as if men and women act in
certain ways, it is straying into
biological determinism. Women do not
show signs of empathy, they are not
scared of being bossy. I know some
of the other panellists were saying
this, we are doing women a
disservice. I genuinely think we do
women a disservice. Policy of
discrimination, women do not want
that -- positive discrimination,
women do not want that.
But men are
in control. Mill values decide who
will be appointed. Male values
decide who will be a leader and a
follower. You had to do something to
correct that. It is built in from
young. Even kids of six and seven,
the girls are taught to say, even as
young as that, that the boys are
more important. Try and buy a
birthday card for a young girl and
you will find every one of them has
a particular view of young children.
Don't laugh, don't try.
always go to the pink/ blue debate,
it bores most of us, with the
It is not pink or blue, it is
activity or passivity, it is who
should lead and who should follow.
We have to break that particular
You are of different generations,
maybe you have a different
experience, a different life
experience. Ella, you are under 30.
A brief response?
We are celebrating
100 years since some women got of
the vote, we have come a long way.
The whole narrative of women being
held back by language or the pink or
blue debate denies the fact that
women have come a very long way
through struggle and battle and
political debate and winning, and
being powerful. The idea that
language will hold us back now is, I
think, frankly, historically
We have a lot further to go and I
John, can you allow Clare
to talk? Honestly, typical male
Male behaviour in a
Don't you be
assertive with me!
I think we have come an awful long
year in the 100 -- an awful long way
in the 100 years since some women
got the vote, but that does not mean
that women's outcomes are
necessarily any better. Women are
more likely to live in poverty than
men, we have heard stories about
harassment in the workplace, that is
not equality. I think it is really
important that we think about how to
change things, I am with John in
thinking about how we make a big
Grab a and push it forward,
Grab it and push it forward.
Quotas are a useful tool to push for
progress. They have been used in
businesses, parliament. Even when
appointing Cabinet, choosing
ministers. David Cameron, before the
2010 election, he said if I am
elected a third of my Government
will be women. That is an informal
quota. It is getting at an
expectation that we need to look a
bit more representative.
people watching will say it should
be about the best person, you have
heard this argument before, the best
person for the job. That is in the
interest of the company.
I think it
is a strategy to maintain the status
quo. 150 years ago when women were
campaigning for the votes, the
arguments would be they have the
wrong disposition or we should
keep... They are too emotional for
politics. You need the best person
for the job, that is a strategy to
keep things as they are. When you
look at Cabinet, when we did our
research on how do you become a
minister, you say how do you
become... What is the best way to
become a Cabinet minister? People
say you had to be a trusted and
loyal ally to the Prime Minister.
That is how a lot of ministers get
their job. That is not the best
person for the job. We need to get
rid of bad language.
compliant person. Theresa May get
criticisms for being emotional is,
robotic, the Maybot. If she were a
man, would that be levelled at her
in the same way?
I think there is a
double standard when it comes to
women and women leaders. Theresa May
for example can be criticised
because she does not have children,
because she does not know about what
it is like to be a mother, she can
be criticised for everything.
other women, Andrea Leadsom, for
There is a certain state
that if you are a woman in the
public eye you will be criticised,
it goes back to antiquity.
Catherine, respond to the quotas?
do not think they were, they
automatically lead people to think
she is only there because of the
quota. They have backfired in India.
The Untouchables, the policy was to
try to raise the Untouchables by
having a quota system, it backfired
in India, it does not work. We know
it does not work. It is not a good
idea. Helena Morrissey, one of the
top finance officers in the country,
she was against quotas and she
insisted that the way forward was a
voluntary way with the 30% club
which they initiated and has
achieved astonishing results. The
voluntary by far the best. Quotas as
far too rigid and blunt and not
politically acceptable to most
The difficulty with targets
and quotas, if you establish targets
and quotas on gender, why not race?
Then how would you manage that?
you get yourself into the
middle-class BM e-mail against the
white working... Then we start
shipping ourselves up.
On one topic
it sounds sensible, but if that
favours whites, then you have an
issue with race.
I am desperate to
correct a couple of things.
should come here more often.
do not need a leg up, men have had a
leg up by having the shoulders
tapped. It happens in the clubs, it
happens all the Gulf, we are not
there. Men have had a leg up for a
very long time and we do not need
special treatment, we need equality.
And since when are we talking about
women being the only parents and
families? We are quite regressive in
a number of statements we have made.
That is changing, we are talking
historically but things are
Dads have careers.
inference is that result and Lee
things are changing. Audience? Good
Ella made the point that
language is not so significant any
more, but we have had a lot in the
news about Cyrille Regis and his
significance and impact on football
related to race. There is also to
language that you can't use that was
used in the 70s and 80s when he was
playing, and there are similar terms
used to keep women down, the whole
bossy/ strident, that kind of
language used about women.
What if a
woman is strident?
Then she is
criticised much more than an
assertive... Or it is taken as
natural for a man to act in that
way, but when women do it they are
This whole idea about things that
are counter-productive, Catherine,
you believe that the #metoo movement
has been and is counter-productive.
What you mean?
The workplace is a
social environment as well somewhere
to get work done, there are always
social events or social time over
the coffee machine or whatever where
people are interacting in a
completely separate, private way.
Flirting and sexual interaction will
be an inevitable part of almost all
Which we discussed a
couple of weeks ago, but
specifically this growing #metoo
campaign, are things being
What is happening is that
anything remotely sexual is treated
as completely out of bounds.
are talking about rate.
occasionally part of it, but the
vast majority of the complaints are
things that are really quite minor
and trivial like a hand on a knee or
a date that did not go as well as
somebody wanted to.
-- people are
talking about rate.
occasionally part of it.
occasionally part of it.
conflating rape with bad dates and
incompetent seductions, it is a
mess. What do you mean by things
that did not go as well as you would
There is an example of
the bad date, Aziz Ansari. She went
out of her way to leave her
boyfriend, seduces Manning get a
date with him and it did not go the
way she had expected to go in her
imagination. They didn't in fact
have six, but she decided because
they had been kissing anyway she did
not particularly like that it was
sexual assault. -- they didn't in
fact have sex. She only decided it
was sexual assault after a
discussion with her girlfriends
after the date and she posted this
on social media. This is the kind of
thing that is bringing the whole
movement, which originally had a
very good point, like Harvey
Weinstein, into disrepute. It is
just women grumbling about bad
dates. It is weakening the message,
ignoring the C of E -- the serious
problem to focus on trivia.
the examples you gave, one of the
things she found objectionable from
what a report said was that he kept
sticking his fingers down her
throat. Whether you want to call a
sexual harassment, it is still a
very aggressive and invasive action
to take. Whilst I can understand
some of the points you are making, I
do not necessarily... I think it is
well worth some women who may feel
they have been sexually harassed or
sexually abused, it does not matter,
if it gets more people talking who
have been sexually abused or
harassed, it is worth it.
telling people what I am going to
do, not what I have done...
having their hands but many, she
said was a little thing, I find that
offensive, when you have it done ten
times at work, then you go to a new
job and your bottom is patted, these
little things add up.
understand the art and about #metoo
-- do you understand the
Yes, I think #metoo has
not done much good for women. I
question the idea it is a movement.
If we took a poll on the streets of
Southampton, there are very few
women who would tell you they are
part of the #metoo movement. It
exists online, it is a hashtag, it
is not a feminist upsurge, people
are not signing up to parties.
does it portray women? About the
question is whether women hold
themselves back, I think the message
buying #metoo is
telling women to
hold themselves back, via sexual
interaction, CMN, telling them and
they had to define every negative...
The Aziz Ansari example is great, it
is a bad sexual experience, all of
us are probably had one at one
point, it has been told is a
traumatic event. We are encouraging
women to see the very minor
awkwardness in times of sexual
interaction as traumatic. That is
doing a disservice to the
seriousness of rape, sexual assault
and also women's power and strength.
There is nothing good about #metoo,
I think, and I think most women
It is a good thing that so many
women are saying that happen to me
as well. That is a very powerful
thing. Many men and women are now
saying that the way I have been
treated in the past is not
acceptable. That means that we need
to change the culture in our society
in a really big way. One woman we
interviewed for the book we have
just done said it is like water
torture. It is dripped after drip
after drip of little sexual remarks,
little jokes, little nasty remarks,
insults, jokes that only men laugh
at. It is hateful.
Nobody here, I
don't think any sensible person
would defend bad behaviour, would
defend the idea that women have got
to put up with jokes and comments,
anything like that. We're not saying
it is part of life and get on with
it. But comparing the low level
behaviour we are talking about to
water torture shows the extreme
nature of this debate. #metoo has
blown wide open what we mean by that
term sexual harassment, for example.
Actually most women do not subscribe
to the #metoo thing. I have called
it a middle-class women's club. It
is journalists and celebrities
subscribing to this. People on
Twitter and not representative of
Do you subscribe to it?
I think I do. I think we are in
danger of throwing the baby out with
the bath water if we say that these
minor, what people are referring to
as minor problems, discount the
entire campaign. Whatever it is that
you think about a hand on the knee,
if we say those things don't matter
and the whole campaign is
ridiculous, that is an error.
Anybody else want to comment over
Thank you. I think it
is a movement and it is a movement
because it is changing things. What
was really interesting about the
whole incident with the Presidents
Club, for the first time since I can
remember, a whole load of really big
organisations just backed away from
it and said it is not something we
want to do. What that says to me is
that the mood is changing and it has
So this is not women
holding themselves back but marching
forward. It is of the unions have
changed, smoke-filled rooms full of
men protecting pay differentials on
their own self-esteem and women in
the workplace challenging their own
positions. Things have changed at
Things have changed. The
general secretary of the TUC is a
woman. Most unions have women as
general secretaries. The big ones
don't but many do.
It was a day of
the dinosaurs before.
We have all
been called that!
Have you been
Oh, yes. The fact of
the matter is that in the traits you
movement, equal rights, whether it
is to do with racist behaviour or
sexual behaviour, is now taken very
seriously. -- in the trade union
movement. A very large proportion of
people in trade unions are now
women. And they are now making the
policy, making the way forward. I
think this might be the basis of a
great surge of trade union
membership, which will be good for
women. And good for the country as a
How do we move forward,
I agree with much of what
John is saying, however the
policymakers who made the decisions,
the laws about gender equality, you
talk about the lived experience of
women in the workplace, that is
entirely different. I will give one
simple example, which is a woman I
know applying for therapy, who works
for a major unionised organisation,
a major UK employer, and she did
voluntary overtime at work, as a
result of which, in the canteen, her
chair was accidentally kicked over
while she was sitting on it, her
tray was accidentally knocked off
the table, people accidentally
bumped into her, her car was
accidentally bashed by another
vehicle, because over time it was a
province of men. What was a woman
doing taking them's work?
Last year. There is insidious,
invisible behaviour going on. I
agree with the drip drip notion that
goes on. I want to say something
very quickly about the work of
Professor Ryan. They said CVs to
businesses for executive roles. All
they did was change the name of the
person. When we talk about language,
the very name a person has is
crucially important. They said CVs
and they changed the name of the
person, and when the perceived name
was male, there were more likely to
get an interview than a female. And
finally, the work on the glass cliff
that they did, when they looked at
board level appointments, and they
looked at FTSE 100 companies with
women on the board, and they found
that women were more likely to be
appointed as director into a failing
company that was destined for
failure than on boards which were
thrusting forward and striving
forward. There is an in-built
unconscious bias. I believe we need
to change the behaviour of men.
word, Professor, very quickly. One
sentence. If we need to change, as
Kevin argues, is that the way ahead,
taking the behaviour of men?
bias in leadership roles is in men
and women, so naturally we need to
talk to men but we need women in the
room as well. We need to look at all
of our bias is towards men for
I agree with you. The
problem is not men, it is women as
well. Women are just as prejudiced
against women as men are and that
has been shown in loads of research.
Thank you all very much for your
participation. And you're fine
thoughts and contributions and
If you have something to say
about that debate log on
and follow the link to where you can
join in the discussion online
or contribute on Twitter.
Next at Oasis Academy Lord's Hill,
here in Southampton,
we'll be debating if evidence
is a problem for religions.
But before that, make a note
of this email address.
It's [email protected]
if you'd like to apply
to be in the audience at
a future programme.
We're in Oxford next Sunday,
Leicester on February 18th and Bath
the week after that.
70 years ago, an amazing
discovery in the Qumran Caves
by the Dead Sea was
announced to the world.
written between 200 years BC and 68
years CE were found,
some in pottery jars,
some in thousands of fragments.
The scrolls turned out to be
the very earliest group
of Old Testament and other religious
writings ever found.
Some were written in Hebrew,
some in Aramaic, some in Greek.
They threw new light
on the Second Temple period
of the Jewish religion.
They revealed some of the day to day
prayers and religious rituals
of a specific community
which believed in ideas of end
times and a coming apocalypse.
Some of the writings
are about the times and places
when Jesus and his disciples
are said to have existed, but none
makes any reference to them at all.
Is evidence a problem for religions?
Francesca, on Google scholar.
Excellent! Very often there is a
problem that some people of faith
can start with their conclusions and
cherry pick the evidence to fit with
their conclusions and ignore the
evidence that contradicts them.
Absolutely. This has been the case
with the Christian Bible. We like to
think that the books collected in
that particular binding are somehow
authoritative, historically reliable
and coherent in their theology,
their ideology, etc. But actually we
have got numerous different Bibles.
The Roman Catholics have a different
Bible from eastern orthodox
Christians from Roman Catholics from
Protestants. The same thing was true
in the ancient world. There was no
such thing as a Bible at the time of
the Dead Sea scrolls but we did have
very diverse Jewish communities who
has usually diverse ideas about what
religious writings were
authoritative. The Dead Sea scrolls
are shown is that many texts that
later Jewish groups and Christian
things we didn't think were
authoritative very important to some
communities. The scrolls came all
over the southern area of what we
now call Israel Palestine. Some are
libraries in major cities. It shows
that they were very diverse but more
importantly it shows that some of
the things that Christians say about
Jesus, that he exclusively brought
to bear, the coming apocalypse, the
kingdom of God, they were views that
were very much mainstream to
different sort of Jewish groups than
people previously realised.
are 27 books in the New Testament?
Someone not included and somewhere.
In the books that were not included,
what do they say about Jesus? It
paints a different picture of Jesus
from that evidence.
Give us the
other Jesus. The other Jesus
includes cheese is being a right
little monster when he was a kid.
Some of the apocryphal Gospels that
were written not very long after the
new test -- New Testament Gospels,
they talk about him killing his
playmates, striking his teachers,
and Jesus that is so anti-sex that
he appears in the bedroom of a newly
married couple and tell them not to
perform this filthy intercourse. He
tells them that they must take their
families and parents. It is a very
different Jesus to the one that most
Christians in the west like to
The spin doctors got hold
of it and they created the Jesus
that is far more compatible.
think you have got to start with the
conclusion and then look at the
Did you know about that
I did. I will speak a bit
about my story.
With the time we
have got, just address that point.
Most scholars, as Francesca will
know, think that the Gospel of Saint
Thomas is the only one outside the
canon that we have in the New
Testament that contains any
historical information about Jesus.
Most scholars in New Testament
scholarship will say that things
like the cross gospel, the gospel of
Peter, these are the apocryphal
Gospels, have no real historical
content but... This is mainstream
scholars. There is a Jewish scholar,
and he thinks the gospel of Thomas
has some accurate historical
information but he doesn't think any
of the others have historical
information. He goes with the
synoptic gospels, Matthew, Mark and
Luke, and the Gospel of Thomas as a
supplement to that. I don't think
you have got to start with the
conclusion and go with the evidence.
My story is a looked at the evidence
before I was a Christian, the
evidence for Jesus's life, his
claims and his resurrection, and I
found that convincing. During my
time to medical school, that
convinced me further.
evidence for his resurrection?
is plenty of historical evidence for
his resurrection. These are things
we would expect to see if he was
raised from the dead that we would
not see otherwise. Appearing to his
disciples gone his sceptics, people
who persecuted Christianity like
simple and then converted. This is
relevant to the Dead Sea scrolls in
the following way...
evidence or stories?
I think your
definition of historical evidence is
different to mine.
I am a
mainstream scholar and I have a
different idea of evidence.
really. If we look at New Testament
historians, they pretty much all so
that Jesus's disciples, like simple,
had ostensible appearances of Jesus
after his death.
But by his own
claim, he never met Jesus when he
was alive. Most of them agree that
his team was empty but scholars
He was a crucifixion
victim, and he wouldn't have been
buried. What the Dead Sea scrolls
show ask if you look at the Temple
scroll is that crucifixion victims
in the first century were
nevertheless buried, which supports
what the Bible says.
delighted to have another scholar on
the show. It is vital that we do. Do
you think that some scholars are
subject to confirmation bias and
they see something that fits their
picture and decide to have it and
they see Jesus is approving of sex
and killing other children and
bringing them back to life in some
bizarre childhood trick and they
discard that? Is something going on
I can tell you something that
is particularly amazing about
scholars working on the Dead Sea
scrolls. You can find scholars of
different kinds beating each other
out but what is amazing about
scholars of the Dead Sea scrolls, we
are Christians, Jewish,
non-believers, men and women, and
because the material is brand-new,
we are just taking delight between
us in puzzling what it might mean.
It is completely new evidence. You
find it is much more a case of
teamwork and a lot less polemics
against who has got the true
interpretation. And that makes it
Why are using it is new? It has been
out since 1947.
That is not true,
much of it has only been out since
the 1990s. The earliest publications
were in the 50s.
document from Egypt. It is the same
of some of the dead Sea Scrolls. The
dead Sea Scrolls give your picture
2000 years ago the reality...
wasn't Jesus mentioned?
wasn't Jesus mentioned?
He is kind
of mentioned. He seems to know about
what was going on in Qumran and the
dead Sea Scrolls. You get the terms
sons of a are used by the
Qumranites, lots of phrases in the
dead Sea Scrolls appear in the new
Testament. He was aware of Qumran,
he might have been a member.
That he was
there? No. Most of the first
Christians were Jewish, it came out
of a Jewish background.
the dead Sea scroll material.
is not what I said.
No, what I'm
saying is that Paul knew about the
writings of the dead Sea Scrolls but
the problem is we all seem to rely
on the dead Sea Scrolls as if they
were gospel, they were not.
said anything of the kinds. I am
saying that we are misleading
ourselves if we think the Dead Sea
I know you have your
own views on the subject?
never understand the Dead Sea
Scrolls or the Bible is unless you
understand the Egyptian factor.
suggest we look at the Dead Sea
Scrolls in order to understand the
dead Sea Scrolls.
factor, ITV, Saturday night, I like
You cannot understand the Dead
Sea Scrolls unless you looked Egypt.
That is your view.
I think you on
your way to saying something?
want to say about the Dead Sea
Scrolls as we found copies thereof
what we now call the Bible, the Old
Testament part of the Christian
Bible and the Jewish Bible that over
1000 years earlier than the first
complete copies we have had. In
itself, it is fantastic. On the
whole, we can't really speak about
the Bible or the Dead Sea Scrolls
like Francesca was mentioning
because they are Scrolls, if you're
interested in texts, collecting
Scrolls, you can collect as many as
you want. You do not need to decide
what goes between the covers of a
book and what order it goes into.
What is a very important point to
make is that a lot of that text is
pretty similar to what we have now,
but there are also some small
differences between the text as we
have it now.
But Charlotte, does
evidence, hard evidence, really
matter? Are the deeper truth is not
I find when it comes to
the deeper truths about the Hebrew
The deeper truths about
love and how to treat your fellow
humans, the general message?
general message I take from the
Hebrew Bible that the whole story is
a bit of a mess, it all went badly
wrong, the promises made to the
Kings and the priests were not
coming true, the country was lost,
Did Moses exist?
not think in that form, no. As a
literary figure, yes.
But as an
actual person, you do not believe
Moses necessarily existed?
I have studied one of these
Scrolls intensely, the copper
scroll, there are Greek letters
which spell out a name, there are
Egyptian hieroglyphics. You have not
looked at it, you don't know.
me, how do you know I have not
looked at it?
If you looked Egypt,
they were waiting for three
messiahs, two messiahs.
Two messiahs mentioned in the Dead
Sea Scrolls, and a prophet.
Jesus say he was the son of God?
don't know anything Jesus said.
Everything credited to him has come
to a severe texts. All sorts of
According to some scholars
there is no evidence, he said he was
the son of man, quite a common
A common phrase, it could
mean human, but it is quite a loaded
phrase. The proffered Ezequiel talks
about a high state is human. The son
of God was a royal title, it was
used of Kings, the Kings of
Jerusalem and the Kings of many
other ancient West Asian cultures.
It was a claim to semi-divinity.
example that most historians think
Jesus said, historians take a
critical approach and think Jesus
said some things in the gospel but
not others. Pretty much all new
Testament historians think that when
John the Baptist sent his followers
to Jesus and said are you the one
who is to come? You see the blind
see, the deaf hear, the dead raised,
go and tell them. He is quoting
Isaiah and Sam is coming he has
quoted that a little, rearrange that
a little. -- he is quoting Isaiah
and psalms. But there was another
passage which said God will send a
messiah whom heaven and earth will
obey, and when he does you will see
the dead raised, the lame walking,
the blind seeing and the deaf
hearing. This is Jesus is the
understanding he had of himself, he
thought of himself as God's Messiah
whom heaven and earth will obey. How
do you explain that self conception?
Is it because he is crazy? I have
done a lot of work in psychiatry and
that does not seem plausible. Is he
lying? You had no interest in
How do you know it was not
plausible he was crazy? I am not
suggesting for a second that he was,
but you dismiss that. CS Lewis talks
about this. There is no evidence he
was crazy? What is the evidence...?
I have walked... Worked with people
who have delusions that you are
He was always driving demons
out of people. What were they?
Scholars disagree. Some people think
it is their way of talking about
mental illness when they did not
have a strict job psychiatry, others
think there are such things as
demons. I am personally a little bit
agnostic on it. There are reputable
psychiatrist who believe in it.
There are some.
There are some.
You are a
Psychologist. We are
the living embodiment here of the
question, is evidence a problem for
religions? Clearly listening to
people... What is going on, it is a
major problem, because the
disagreements are so strong. One of
the questions for me is how do you
move from evidence to truth? One of
the things I observe is that people
of faith, religious people, tend to
move quite quickly from evidence
which is quite disparate to facts. I
recently watched Miriam Margulies in
America, a fascinating programme on
the BBC where she interviewed some
very fundamental people who had
absolute religious fact, I have
evidence that the Earth is only 5000
That is bonkers. I have
evidence which says evolution does
not even merit the word theory, it
is so papery and thin. They have
started with their conclusions.
problem with fundamentalists in
different religions is they move
from a very selective reading of a
select choice of cherry picked
information and say I have fact.
Sadly we live now in a world where
facts are so meaningless, so badly
abused, we are presented, as Kelly
and Conway famously said, with
alternative truths. Most people call
them lies but now you can say
evidence, facts, it is all
With you in a minute,
Robert. Good morning.
I went to a catholic girls' School
in Southampton and I have to say
that a Catholic education is
probably one of the most confusing
things you can have. You go to your
science class and you are told you
cannot say anything unless you have
evidence for it, you go to your
history class and you are told you
had to think is that buyers, who
wrote it, why did they write it? You
have mass, and everything you have
learned in those lessons goes out
the window. You have to believe what
It is a different
evidential bar? I see, yes.
not much space with the deeper
Robert, I know you are over
there. I do not think you have
spoken yet on the programme?
really do think that religion has
been around for a really, really
long time, there are so many
different religions going on, and I
think the evidence that has come up,
although it might disapprove certain
things and prove others, I really do
think that belief systems that have
been around for such a long time, I
really do think that the evidence
that is coming around to... I really
do not think it will make such an
impact that it will make much of a
Because they are too
I think they are too set
in stone for them to change.
We had a mention of evolution and
how it works, Francesca, it evolves
under their religion is particularly
suited to a particular environment,
survival of the fittest, it survives
and flourishes and it is all about
what is happening at the time,
whether it is useful. Protestantism
and capitalism have been linked?
Absolutely. I think... The best way
to describe any kind of religion is
to say that religion is an aspect of
the sociality of what it is to be a
human being. Even the discussion we
had earlier this morning about
gender and feminism, all of these
debates are of their time in that
particular moment, religion is the
The goddesses should have done
more to help themselves.
It is the goddess
fault. You did a brilliant
programme on this, where did all the
Monotheism emerged, we
ended up with a God in Judaism and
Christianity who is jealous and
intolerant and preferred the company
of circumcised men to his pantheon
of gods and goddesses, and with the
Protestant isolation of that
particular God than the roles of the
goddesses were almost written out of
the biblical traditions. They
re-emerge from time to time.
re-emerge from time to time.
you agree with this, in some of the
Scriptures there is a lot of fake
news, we were talking about that
Absolutely. Archaeology is
hard evidence that you can feel and
touch. In the Dead Sea Scrolls, in
the Temple scrolls which you know
about, and you, Charlotte, it
describes a temple 1600 qubits by
600 cubits wide. That is a huge
Was there a Ark?
absolutely not. The Ark of the
covenant, different. The temple
scroll, why did it give those
dimensions? They are the dimensions
of the greatest temple...
temple depicted as an idealised
Why? Why other measurement
is exactly the same as that of a
I do not think they are.
Canales is a something about truth,
I was left hanging... Can I also say
something about truth? The Hebrew
Bible is a mess is not what I want
to be my main code.
old Testament was written at
everything went wrong and it shows
that humans need to continue to
question how they have behaved and
what we are doing. There is no
truth, we need to reflect on our
We will continue to
question how we behave and reflect
on our actions next week.
Next week we're in Oxford,
so do join us then.
Thank you so much for watching.
But for now, it's goodbye
and have a great Sunday.