Name: Anna Estaroth
Abstract Title: Scotland's Clava Cairns and the Midsummer Full Moon
Anna's research took her to the Central Highlands of Scotland, exploring the enigmatic Clava Cairns. These stone structures were built at the transition phase when metal-work transformed the British Isles from the Neolithic to the Early Bronze Age. These monuments were associated with the moon and Anna wanted to discover what that might have meant for the people who created them and for people who have inhabited this landscape ever since. She went on a riverside journey, delving into local legends, unexpected vistas and sky views to find a series of dramatic sky events which were integral to cairn locations.
Name: Jessica Heim
Abstract Title: TBA
Name: Anya Marco
Abstract Title: TBA
Name: Chris Mitchell
Abstract Title: Signs from Heaven or a Dark Art? How the Church embraced Arabic astrology and introduced it into the Christian West
Today, we're used to the three major monotheistic religions of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism being generally very critical or dismissive of astrology. Early Christianity took the same negative view of what it considered to be a "pagan" practice, but by the twelfth century, astrology was being taught in Cathedral schools and universities, and actively promoted by the clergy. This talk will examine how and why attitudes towards astrology changed, and how astrology texts from the Islamic world found their way into Western Christian Europe.
Name: Nicole Montag-Keller
Abstract Title: Concrete for Eternity - The Goetheanum building and its refer to anthroposophic cosmology
Using the work of Rudolf Steiner and western esoterism as a framework, this talk argues that the Goetheanum building in Dornach, Switzerland reflects anthroposophic cosmology in its art and architecture. The concepts of the skyscape,the horizonscape, the landscape and the gardenscape are discussed in relation to the building and its interior spaces: the representation of man, the red window and blue window to the South.
Abstract Title: The cosmology of an Orthodox icon
Orthodox iconography is based on the idea of representing the cosmos as the essence of God's creatio ex nihilo and, serving as a visual cosmology of all being. The idea behind this is that the icons. which depict images of the archetypal world in its integrity, considered to be unachievable by limited human ability, are ontologically inseparable from this archetype. Therefore, iconography has been always related to the idea of representing the world through symbolic images. Orthodox icons might also be considered as a portrayed eschatology - a foretaste of the end of ordinary world and of reunion with the Divine, as mentioned by St. Paul the Apostle (I Cor. 13:12). Iconography, as 'theology in images', is equivalent to theology in words and it reveals the religious doctrine of Orthodoxy in its fullness. Colour plays an important role as well. Following creatio ex nihilo, layering dark to light by painting. Gold represents the radiance of Heaven; red, divine life, blue is the colour of human life, white is the Uncreated Light of God, best explained by the fourteenth century scholar Gregory Palamas.
This lecture will address the Cosmic aspects of Orthodox icons and how these were interpreted in the Patristic texts and by medieval Christians scholars. Paintings from the Late Byzantine era will be used as examples.
Name: Octavia Sheepshanks
Abstract Title: An Exploration of the 'Overview Effect' as Enchantment
An enchanted experience is a personal moment of wonder that can be life-changing, while the 'Overview Effect' refers to the permanent shift in perspective described by many astronauts after seeing the Earth from afar. This paper uses three key themes to explore points of resonance and conflict between the two concepts, in the hope of enriching our knowledge of both. Firstly, the Overview Effect emerges as a bridge where technology and wonder meet, which informs an understanding of the seemingly implausible 'virtual reality' Overview Effect. Next, the theme of ‘space and place’ is discussed in light of the intense feeling astronauts have of the Earth as ‘home’. Lastly, this paper places the Overview Effect in the historical tradition of landscape-viewing and asks how the cultural and social identity of an Earth-gazer might affect their experience.