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Sophia Centre Conference: July 2010

Bath 2

The Bath Literary and Scientific Institution, founded in 1824.

The Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture
Department of Archaeology, History and Anthropology
University of Wales, Lampeter

Sophia Centre Conference
24-25 July 2010
Bath Royal Scientific and Literary Institute, Bath, England


Call for Papers

This conference will, for the first time, bring together academics to
investigate the theory and practice of astrology in the modern world,
from roughly 1700 to the present day.

Astrology is ‘the practice of relating the heavenly bodies to lives and
events on earth, and the tradition that has thus been generated’
(Patrick Curry). It is a part of modern culture which arouses powerful
feelings from loyal devotion to passionate hostility. It is feared by
evangelical Christians and despised by sceptical scientists, yet is an
unquestioned feature of the popular media. It is described as magic or
psychology, and as a path to spiritual understanding or scientific
truth, and is often classed as a New Age discipline. It is mentioned in
passing in books on the sociology of religion yet is almost completely
ignored in the literature on popular culture. Where academic studies do
exist they are largely sociological or psychological investigations
designed to solve the problem of why belief in astrology persists in the
modern world.

Papers may consider
. the life and work of influential astrologers
. the transmission and lineage of ideas
. questions of tradition and innovation
. the relationship of theory to practice
. the cultural context of astrological ideas
. the role and function of astrological practice

While the focus is on the modern west, appropriate papers may be
accepted on non-western cultures.

It is expected that most papers will be 20 minutes + 10 minutes
questions, although we may accept shorter presentations for reports.

Please send proposals, including a 200 word abstract and 50 word
biography, to Dr Nick Campion,, by 1 November 2009.

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