The Unsayable in Platonism with Professor Gregory Shaw – Tuesday 22 February 2022 – 8.00-9.30pm UK time – via Zoom – £10

The Unsayable in Platonism with Professor Gregory Shaw – Tuesday 22 February 2022 – 8.00-9.30pm UK time – via Zoom – £10

It is widely recognized that the foundations of Western culture lie in Greek philosophy, specifically in the intellectual achievement of Platonism. What is less known, however, is that the leading teachers of the later Platonic schools did not embrace the metaphysics that are now identified with “Platonism.” At the heart of their philosophy was a radical skepticism about what can be known and the recognition that the Platonic tradition is rooted in an awareness that defies rational expression. This non-representable and indescribable awareness was nevertheless believed to be the source of all discourse and available to anyone who learned how to receive it. This reception requires that we come to terms with our inability to grasp the unknowable and recognize that rationality itself is rooted in the unknown.

From Allegory to Anagoge: the question of symbolic perception in a literal world by Angela Voss

From Allegory to Anagoge: the question of symbolic perception in a literal world by Angela Voss

This paper discusses the relevance of the ‘four levels of interpretation’ of medieval theology – literal, allegorical, moral, anagogical – to the teaching of astrology at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. In an educational system increasingly bound to positivist assumptions a way is required to lead students to a deeper perception, and experience, of the symbolic.

Spirit Possession in Shamanism by Stone Fitzgerald

Spirit Possession in Shamanism by Stone Fitzgerald

The phenomena of spirit possession can be viewed and reviewed through the lens of differing fields of study including and most notably religious studies, psychology and anthropology. When reading in this area of research one would expect to encounter discourse giving examples from within the realms of the main world religions such as exorcism, or the more recent practices of the séance within the spiritualist churches. Here we will engage mainly with this phenomenon as presented through shamanic practices and within this conduct a study of the related context including physical space and ritual. Although there will not be a discussion around the use of the term shamanism, engaging in this particular account of spirit possession will undoubtedly highlight some of its core traits.

Divination, Participation and the Cognitive Continuum by Geoffrey Cornelius

Divination, Participation and the Cognitive Continuum by Geoffrey Cornelius

This discussion develops anthropological theory with respect to divination, clarifying the concepts of divinatory address and the unique case of interpretation. Lucien Lévy-Bruhl’s pioneering formulations are considered in the light of the well-known studies on Azande divination by E. E. Evans-Pritchard, and in the relatively recent description by Barbara Tedlock of the ‘cognitive continuum’ at work in divinatory interpretations. It is suggested that Tedlock’s description augments Lévy-Bruhl’s analysis and resolves apparent contradictions and inadequacies, rendering it appropriate to the cross-cultural study of divination.

The Book of the Sun (De Sole) – Marsilio Ficino (1494) – £5 download

The Book of the Sun (De Sole) – Marsilio Ficino (1494) – £5 download

The Book of the Sun represents the culmination of Ficino’s life and work. Published in 1494, five years before his death, it is a supreme example of the very synthesis of astrology, religion and philosophy for which Ficino strived all his life and illustrates his ability to convey the deepest mystical experience within a lucid, authoritative prose.

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