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Conference Theme

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. 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.

This conference, for the first time, brought together academics to investigate the theory and practice of astrology in the modern world, from roughly 1800 to the present day.

The conference was held in the gracious surroundings of the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institute, one of the most elegant buildings in eighteenth-century Bath. Bath itself is a UNESCO World Heritage site, one of the most beautiful cites in the world.

View the conference programme

Proceedings can be obtained from the Sophia Centre Press