Joseph Milne: Cosmic Harmony and the Sacred City
This lecture will draw upon ancient myths and philosophy to show the enduring relation between the divine order of the cosmos and human life. This will also explore the links between the 'imagination' with the ecological aims of the Harmony Project.
Hilary Davies: 'Sacred Vision and the Landscape'
In this lecture I will look at how three different poets: David Jones, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas have been inspired by the Welsh landscape to open up the visionary world of the imagination through their poetry. They raise questions about how we are embedded in past landscapes, how present landscapes offer us spiritual dimensions, and .what stewardship we owe for the future.
Grevel Lindop: 'W.B. Yeats and the Poet's Quest for Vision'
Yeats wrote, 'The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write'. A deeply religious person, he nonetheless rejected both the Protestantism and the Catholicism which divided the Ireland of his time, and instead explored Indian religion, Western occultism, Neoplatonism, spiritualism, and indigenous Irish traditions, in search of the underlying truth from which he believed they all derived. The lecture will explore how he embodied the stages of his quest in poetry, which he regarded as 'the spiritual intellect's great work'.
Howard Hull: Storming into Beauty: Ruskin, Turner and the Ethics of the Dust
Ruskin coined the term 'heartsight' to describe JMW Turner's vision of 'vital beauty'. Beauty in Ruskin's book was a life-giving force, an agency in which affection and kindness create a sustaining ecology for all amid the atomising chaos of an otherwise brutal world. Ruskin expanded his reading of Turner's painterly techniques to embrace a wider law of life which he called the Law of Help. For Turner the primary medium was light, for Ruskin it was the earth, but for both the human heart provided the central fire for everything, animating nature and mankind for good or bad according to the values and spirit it embodied.