Background of Academic Astrology
For thousands of years human beings have speculated about their physical, emotional and psychic connections with the sky, stars and planets, and the results manifest across beliefs and behaviour. Cultural Astronomy is the study of the application of beliefs about the stars to all aspects of human culture. It includes the new discipline of archaeoastronomy: the study of astronomical alignments, orientation and symbolism. It also draws on archaeology, sociology, philosophy and the study of religions. The split between astronomy and astrology is a feature of modern western thought.
The Master’s degree in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology in the University of Wales Trinity Saint David is the only academic program in this field worldwide. It is taught within the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, a research and teaching centre within the Faculty of Humanities and the Performing Arts. The centre’s work is partly historical, partly anthropological and partly philosophical. It has a wide-ranging remit to investigate the role of cosmological, astronomical and astrological beliefs, models and ideas in human culture, including the theory and practice of myth, magic, divination, religion, spirituality, architecture, politics and the arts. It is not confined to any time period or culture.
The project offers courses on Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, and qualifications of Postgraduate Certificate and Postgraduate Diploma. The Sophia Centre also supervises PhD students, and currently many related Ph.D publications already released.
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Current Academic Achievements
Historical and cultural study of Astrology
A History of Western Astrology, Nicholas Campion
The development of Western astrology from ancient times to modern times
Astrology in Time and Place: Cross-Cultural Currents in the History of Astrology, Nicholas Campion and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum
History of Astrology in India, China and Western World
From Masha’allah to Kepler: Theory and Practice in Medieval and Renaissance Astrology, Charles Burnett and Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum
Study of social and philosophical background of contemporary Astrology
MA dissertations: Development of Psychological Astrology in Germany, Reform of Astrology by the Theosophist, Alan Leo, and Development of astrological meanings for the modern planets
Ph.D. thesis: Theories of Fate among Present Day Astrologers , An Examination of the Impact of the Internet on Modern Western Astrology
Current Ph.D. research title: Psychologisation of Astrology in the Twentieth Century
Publications: Astrology and Popular Religion in the Modern West: Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement, Nicholas Campion, analyses social influence of contemporary Astrology.
Study on relations between Astronomy, Literature and Arts
Highlight events of the Centre:
2011 - Sponsored the Heavenly Discourses conference at the University of Bristol in order to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the first human space flight. Papers from the conference have been published by the Sophia Centre Press.
2016 - Sponsored the 24th annual conference of the European Society for Astronomy in Culture in Bath.
Actively developing the new concept of skyscape archaeology. Students on the Skyscapes, Cosmology and Archaeology module complete a research project exploring astronomical orientations, alignments or symbolism in the built environment.
Ph.D. thesis: ‘Employing 3-Dimensional Computer Simulation to examine the Archaeoastronomy of Scottish Mehgalithgic Sites: the implication of plate tectonics and isostasis’ , David Fisher
Current ancient astronomy studies: History of Archaeoastronomy, Neolithic sites in Southern England etc.
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Introduction of Professor Nicholas Campion
• The most influential scholar in the field of astronomy and astrology in the United Kingdom
• BA in History from Queens’ College, Cambridge, MA in Southeast Asian Studies (politics, history and international relations) from the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, and PhD in the Study of Religions at Bath Spa University
• Program Director of the MA in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology in University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Director of the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture
• Member of European Society for the Study of Astronomy in Culture (SEAC), International Society for the Study of Archaeoastronomy and Astronomy in Culture (ISAAC)
• Main interest: How world views, or cosmologies, are constructed, particularly in how we structure history and read meaning in the sky. Particularly concerned with the attribution of meaning to the sky, the mythical construction of cosmologies as meaning-systems, and their political and religious consequences and applications.
• Academic Publications
- 2015: The New Age in the Modern West: Counter-Culture, Utopia and Prophecy from the late Eighteenth Century to the Present Day (London: Bloomsbury 2015)
- 2012: Astrology and Cosmology in the World’s Religions (New York: New York University Press)
- 2012: Astrology and Popular Religion in the Modern West: Prophecy, Cosmology and the New Age Movement (Farnham: Ashgate; London: Routledge, 2015)
- 2009: A History of Western Astrology Vol. 2: The Medieval and Modern Worlds (London: Bloomsbury/Continuum)
- 2009: A History of Western Astrology Vol. 1: The Ancient World (London: Continuum), [first published as The Dawn of Astrology: A Cultural History of Western Astrology Vol. 1, The Ancient and Classical Worlds, (London: Bloomsbury/Continuum, 2008)]
- 1994: The Great Year: Astrology, Millenarianism and History in the Western Tradition (London: Penguin)
Current book project is a study of Classical cosmology (to be published in 2018/19 by Ashgate as Cosmos and Purpose: Cosmology in the Classical World). Also the General Editor (with Richard Dunn, Senior Curator for the History of Science at Royal Museums Greenwich) of the six-volume Cultural History of the Universe (Bloomsbury, forthcoming 2020).