It was billed as the moral equivalent of an Ali v Foreman title fight. The world’s best known atheist arguing with the man who until a few weeks ago was the Archbishop of Canterbury. Last night, Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, took on Rowan Williams, the new master of Magdalene College, in a debate on religion at the Cambridge Union. And Williams emerged triumphant.
The motion for debate was big enough to attract the very best speakers to the Cambridge Union: Religion has no place in the 21st century.
But the key factor in persuading Professor Richard Dawkins to agree to take part in last night’s setpiece was something else ”“ an admiration for his principal opponent.
“I normally turn down formal debates,” he said. “But the charming Rowan Williams was too good to miss.”