Sky and Symbol Logo

Conference Theme

In ancient Babylon the movements of the stars were seen as the writing of celestial deities, to be read and interpreted by the astrologers. In medieval and Renaissance the Europe the notion of the sky as a chapter in the ‘Book of the Creatures’ or the ‘Book of Nature’ was current, suggesting that the heavenly bodies might function as symbols conveying higher – or deeper – truths. This academic conference will consider the ways in which celestial symbolism has been incorporated and portrayed in culture.

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. Mythic images of Hermes and Ceres look down us from the ceiling of the conference room. From the windows, an Egyptian obelisk forms the centre-piece of Queen Square. 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