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Nicholas Campion: Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions

Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions When you think of astrology, you may think of the horoscope section in your local paper, or of Nancy Reagan’s consultations with an astrologer in the White House in the 1980s. Yet almost every religion uses some form of astrology: some way of thinking about the sun, moon, stars, and planets and how they hold significance for human lives on earth.Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions offers an accessible overview of the astrologies of the world’s religions, placing them into context within theories of how the wider universe came into being and operates. Campion traces beliefs about the heavens among peoples ranging from ancient Egypt and China, to Australia and Polynesia, and India and the Islamic world.Addressing each religion in a separate chapter, Campion outlines how, by observing the celestial bodies, people have engaged with the divine, managed the future, and attempted to understand events here on earth. This fascinating text offers a unique way to delve into comparative religions and will also appeal to those intrigued by New Age topics.=============================================

Nicholas Campion is senior lecturer in the School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, and course director of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. His books include the two-volume A History of Western Astrology.


This innovative study presents astrologies and cosmologies – broadly conceived – as counterparts and mirrors of human societies. Unlike most students of astrology, Campion transcends the limitations of the Western tradition to examine the nature and roles of astrological and cosmological concepts in cultures from all continents. His examples provide original insights into how cosmologies shape these cultures’ artistic, intellectual, and religious activities.”

Stephen McCluskey, West Virginia University




Venue: Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution, Bath, England

Date: 23-24 June 2012

 University of Wales Trinity Saint David

The Sophia Centre, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology

University of Wales Trinity Saint David


Conference Chairs: Nicholas Campion and Dorian Greenbaum


Contact: Nicholas Campion,

Call for Papers

We invite abstracts this academic conference which will consider the questions which arise from the transmission of ideas in the theory and practice of astrology. Such transmission may be between cultures or through time in the same culture. Issues may also be addressed of comparison between cultures.

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 has been practised in some form in most cultures. In some it is rudimentary, in others complex. It may be considered magical, religious or scientific, or it may defy categorisation. There is evidence of the transmission of ideas in the near east between Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia, and between the Near East, India and East Asia. In Mesoamerica and China technical forms arose which were entirely different to the Near Eastern tradition. Syncretism has been a major feature of astrology in India, Persia and Europe down to modern New Age culture and the globalisation of alternative spiritualities.

This conference will consider questions surrounding the exchange of astrological ideas or practice between cultures, issues arising from their transmission from one period to another, or consider comparisons between the astrologies of different cultures. Papers may focus on iconography, literature, theory, practice, philosophy or cultural context.

Our keynote speakers will be

Professor Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute), Professor of the History of Islamic Influences in Europe at The Warburg Institute. Professor Burnett received his PhD from Cambridge University, and has been a Member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, a Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Sheffield, a Distinguished Visiting Professor in Medieval Studies in the University of California at Berkeley and Visiting Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian Universität, Munich (2009).

Professor David Pankenier, whose books include East Asian Archaeoastronomy: Historical Records of Astronomical Observations of China, Japan, and Korea, (with Xu, Zhenoao and Yaotiao Jiang, Amsterdam: Gordon and Breach Science Publishers, 2000) and Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: Celestial Foundations of Chinese Civilisation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2012).

Professor Francesca Rochberg, one of the foremost authorities on Mesopotamian astrology and its transmission to the Hellenistic world, and author of The Heavenly Writing: Divination, Horoscopy and Astronomy in Mesopotamian Culture (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004) and In the Path of the Moon: Babylonian Celestial Divination and its Legacy (Leiden: Brill, 2010).

Professor Michael York, former Professor of Cultural Astronomy and Astrology at Bath Spa University, and author of The Emerging Network: A Sociology of the New Age and Neo-Pagan Movements (London: Rowan and Littlefield, 1995) and Pagan Theology: Paganism as a World Religion, New York: New York University Press, 2003).

Proposals are invited for papers of 30 minutes, to include discussion. All papers will be plenary sessions.

Abstracts should be around 150 words. Please include a brief biography of c.50-100 words.

Speakers will not have to register for the conference.

Selected proceedings will be published by the Sophia Centre Press.

Please submit abstracts and full contact information to Dr Nicholas Campion

Deadline 15 December 2011



Ed. Nicholas Campion and Liz Greene

Paperback, 265 pp.

Publication 23 October 2011

Price: £28 




Order before 23 October at the Pre-Publication Price of £18.00 including postage and packing.

To order, and for contents, see here:

The ‘Astrologies’ conference, organised by the Sophia Centre, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution on 24-25 July 2010 was the first gathering of academics working in the history and culture of modern astrology.

The range of topics explored in the publication of the conference proceedings is broad, and reflects the striking diversity of techniques and underlying philosophies which underlie the enduring human perception of meaningful relationships between the heavenly bodies and life on earth. Although astrology has been treated in many scholarly works as a monolithic entity, all of the papers in this book demonstrate one of the paradoxes of astrological thought and practice: the existence of a relatively stable tradition of cosmological and astral representations and ideas combined with a adaptability that has enabled astrologies to meld with different spheres of human endeavour in a variety of cultures.

The papers are grouped into three basic themes: the symbolism of astrologies, the history of astrologies within different cultural contexts, and the practice of various astrologies from both ‘insider’ and ‘outsider’ perspectives.

Recent Academic Research on Astrology: THE 9TH HOUSE


Recent Academic Research

on Astrology

Recent years have seen a flowering of academic research on astrology, or topics related to astrology, unprecedented in the last three hundred years. This website exists in order to make as much as possible of this work available.

It will be limited to:

Ph.D. or M.Phil. theses from accredited universities.

Selected M.A. dissertations from accredited universities.

Work in English.

Work in either the humanities or social sciences. (Research attempting to locate astrology as effects with causes determinable by the physical sciences is a sufficiently different enterprise to belong somewhere else.)

Short notices about forthcoming books based on, or incorporating, theses or dissertations.

All Ph.D./ M.Phil. theses and short notices that are offered by their authors will be accepted that conform, in the Editor’s opinion, to the above criteria. Regarding M.A. dissertations, the final decision of what to include rests with myself, as the site’s editor.

Notices of Forthcoming Work by

Nicholas Campion

Geoffrey Cornelius

Patrick Curry

Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum

Liz Greene

Angela Voss

Finally, although it has no direct involvement with this website, the Sophia Trust deserves thanks for making much of this research possible through its generous institutional support at various British universities.

(Dr) Patrick Curry

© The 9th House | email:

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