Faith and Reason -- Lecture by Terry Eagleton

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Faith and Reason --

Terry Eagleton

(From Spoken English Example Videos for Language Study)

Prolific author and literary critic Terry Eagleton speaks at Yale University on "Faith and Reason". Professor of English Literature at the University of Lancaster, and Visiting Professor at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Dr. Eagleton is probably best known for his "Literary Theory: An Introduction". Frequent references to "Ditchkins" actually refer to Richad Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens as a comined iconic entity representing outspoken anti-theism.

During this hour, Professor Eagleton demonstrates near perfect diction. Though at least some of his speech is scripted, he does frequently diverge from the script but, as his unscripted speech is nearly indistinguishable from edited prose, it is very hard to tell when this happens.

Difficulty level: 7/10

Dialect: British (Oxbridge) English

Points to look for: This video has subtitles! This can help a great deal in indentifying words and looking them up if necessary.

Synesis error (Number mismatch in an anaphoric reference. ): "I doubt that any scientist who valued their corporate grants would fall over themselves to investigate ..." (Singular noun "scientist" referenced in plural). This is really only an error on the SAT and is quite commonly used by academics in scholarly presentations.


Poets are the hierophants of an unapprehended inspiration; the mirrors of the gigantic shadows which futurity casts upon the present; the words which express what they understand not; the trumpets which sing to battle, and feel not what they inspire; the influence which is moved not, but moves. Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. - Percy Bysshe Shelley