Astrology as a way of understanding the world has woven its thread into cultures since Mesopotamian times. Along with its technical descriptions of calculation and interpretation, whether written on clay tablets or vellum, using stylus, quill or printing press, it has also taken form in sculpture, mosaics and painting, as well as inhabiting such esoteric bodies of knowledge as Kabbalah, alchemy and magic. Modern scholarship, viewing astrology from the outside, pays little attention to the language incorporated in such esoteric lore and has assigned it solely a cultural meaning, assuming astrology to be a form of divination, shaped by Aristotelian cosmology and Neo-Platonic philosophy. In so doing the academic tradition has failed to understand that astrology forms a lingua franca stitching together multiple paradigms of thinking. These fall beyond cultures, and bind, underpin and flow through them, reflective of and inherently part of human experience.
This conference aims to examine the subject of astrology in the academic tradition, an area from which it has been absent for over four hundred years and which is one of its current research frontiers and to present the wide-ranging and current academic findings in this field.
Dates: 24-25 April, 2010.
*** Early Registration closes 30th Nov 2009 ***
One day only - £40 / Both days - £75
Registration after 1st Dec:
One day only - £60 / Both days - £100
Speakers and topics
Ronald Hutton (Professor of History, The University of Bristol): The
Strange History of Astro-Archaeology.
Elliot Wolfson (Abraham Lieberman Professor of Hebrew and Judaic Studies,
New York University): Theosis, Vision, and the Astral Body in Medieval
German Pietism and the Spanish Kabbalah.
Kocku von Stuckrad (Professor of Religious Studies, University of
Groningen):Jewish Astrological Imagery in Late Antiquity.
Roger Beck (Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto) :Imagery and
narrative in an ancient horoscope: P. Lond. 130 (Greek Horoscopes no. 81).
Peter Forshaw (Assistant Professor in Western Esotericism, University of
Amsterdam): Astronomia Inferior et Superior: Some Medieval and Renaissance
Instances of the Conjunction of Alchemy and Astrology.
Geoffrey Shamos (Postgraduate research student, University of
Pennsylvania): Astrology as Sociology: Depictions of the "Children of the
Liz Greene (Postgraduate research student, University of Bristol): The
magical astrology of the British occult revival, 1885-1939.
Bernadette Brady (Postgraduate research student, University of Wales,
Lampeter): The visual cartography of the sky since Mesopotamian times.
Darrelyn Gunzburg (Postgraduate research student, University of Bristol): A
Cultural Cosmology: The fresco paintings of the first floor Salone of the
Palazzo della Ragione, Padua, Italy.
(Office hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday)
Faculty of Arts
University of Bristol
7 Woodland Road
Bristol BS8 1TB
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