The festival, hosted by the BBC at MediaCityUK, runs from 12-13 September.

It aims to explore and debate ethical and religious issues affecting society.

This will be the second time that Prof Dawkins and Lord Sacks have exchanged their opposing views on faith and science in a public arena.

In October 2011, Andrew Marr discussed the wonders of nature with Prof Dawkins, Lord Sacks and cosmologist Prof Lisa Randall in BBC Radio 4's Start the Week.

In that occasion, Prof Dawkins's contribution touched upon the beauty of the physical universe, and highlighted the supremacy of scientific discourse over myth or faith in the explanation of reality.

But Lord Sacks said that, while science provides facts, religion gives meaning; humans, he said, need both.

Ahead of Wednesday's debate, the Chief Rabbi reiterated that view.

He told the BBC: "There is a belief that science and religion cannot coexist, that the advance of one is to the detriment of the other.

"I believe this is wrong."

He added that there was "more to life than science and more to religion than ignorance and superstition".

"What is needed, now more than ever, is a conversation between the forces of science and those of religion," said the Chief Rabbi.

"Richard Dawkins is a gifted scientist and someone who has contributed a great amount to our understanding of the world.

"I hope we will be pleasantly surprised and realise that there is a very strong argument for saying that, despite obvious differences, there can, and must, be a great partnership between science and religion."

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Listen to Jonathan Sacks and Richard Dawkins on Radio 4's Start the Week