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Heavenly Discourses

PROCEEDINGS OF THE 2011 CONFERENCE HEAVENLY DISCOURSES: MYTH, ASTRONOMY AND CULTURE, BRISTOL, UK

Edited by Nicholas Campion

Series: Studies in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, Vol. 7

ISBN 13: 978-1-907767-07-4

Paperback: 410 pages

Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1.4 x 20.3 cm

Description

Life on Earth would not exist without the brilliant objects we see in it; we would not be here without the light and heat of the Sun, and the rhythmic, tidal, biologically-vital, influences of the Moon. From earliest recorded history and in all societies the stars and planets, indeed the entire sky, have been a source of meaning for human affairs. In many cultures the heavenly bodies speak to humanity and, often, humanity talks back. Sometimes the stars speak for themselves as divine entities. In much western art and literature they become metaphors, underpinning narratives – and discourses – which explore or dramatise the human condition, as in the epic narratives of modern, cinematic science fiction. And for millennia human beings have imagined a journey to the heavens. This dream finally became a reality on 12 April 1961 when Yuri Gagarin made his single, historic orbit of the Earth. This date inaugurated the period of human space travel, and has a claim to be one of the most significant moments of human history.

The Heavenly Discourses conference was a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of Gagarin’s achievement, held at the University of Bristol and sponsored by the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. This volume brings together selected papers from that conference and provides a valuable resource in the emerging discipline of Cultural Astronomy.

Reviews

Table of Contents

Images
Acknowledgements

A LETTER OF WELCOME: Yuri Gagarin Russian State Scientific Research and Experimental Cosmonaut Training Centre

INTRODUCTION: DISCOURSE WITH THE HEAVENS
Dr. Nicholas Campion

ON THE EXHIBITION
Darrelyn Gunzberg

PART ONE: HEAVENLY DISCOURSES

  • Into the Blue: Transcendental Access and Celestial Ascent
    E. C. Krupp
  • The Ancient Mithraeum as a Model Universe, Part 1
    Roger Beck
  • Under a Star-Spangled Banner: Politics and Astral Religion in the Roman Empire
    Shannon Grimes
  • Celestial Vaults in English Gothic Architecture
    John Hendrix
  • They Were Like Them: The Stars in Mesoamerican Imagery
    Stanisław Iwaniszewski
  • Three Russian Cosmists: Fedorov, Tsiolkovsky, Chizhevsky
    George M. Young

PART TWO: DISCOURSES IN WORDS

  • Man, Mystery, Myth and Metaphor: Poetry and The Heavens
    Gillian Clarke
  • The Stars’ Earthly Mirror: Heavenly Inversions in the Oresteia of Aeschylus
    Ben Pestell
  • Travelling the Cosmos: Celestial Journeys in the Japanese Stories of ‘Urashima Taro’ and ‘Night of the Milky Way Railroad’
    Steven L. Renshaw
  • Space for Uncertainty: The Movement of Celestial Bodies in the Exeter Book Riddles
    Jennifer Neville
  • Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy as Reference Point for Federici Zuccari’s Later Oeuvre (1575-1607)
    Simone Westermann
  • Celestial Bodies in the Writings of Marsilio Ficino (1433-1499)
    Valery Rees
  • The Heavens and King Lear
    Nick Davis
  • Spiritual Symbolism in W. B. Yeats’s ‘The Phases of the Moon’
    Faisal A. W. Hayder Al-Doori
  • Septentrion: Ursa Major in the Fin de Siècle
    Leon Burnett
  • To the Stars and Back: The Influence of Manned Space Flight on Soviet Science Fiction
    Natalia Karakulina
  • Interstellar Messaging: An Embodied Perspective
    Carrie Paterson
  • Fictional Explorations of Astronomy: How to Reach the Parts Other Narratives Miss
    Pippa Goldschmidt

PART THREE: DISCOURSES IN SOUND

PART FOUR: DISCOURSES IN IMAGES

  • Seeing Earth: Transformational Representations of the Universe in the Stars
    Jürgen Heinrichs
  • Astronomy and Cosmology in Byzantine Art: Bringing Byzantine Art into the Twenty-First Century
    Valerie Shrimplin
  • Giorgio Vasari’s ‘Sala Degli Elementi’ in Palazzo Vecchio, Florence: The Symbolism of Saturn as Heavenly Air
    Liana De Girolami Cheney
  • Holbein’s Horizons: The Cosmos of a German Artist in the Age of the Reformation
    Jennifer A. Morris
  • Lost World: Images of Mars Before the Space Age
    Clive Davenhall
  • Cosmic Stutters: Anselm Kiefer’s Search for Redemption in the Stars
    John G. Hatch
  • Melancholy and Beauty in Danny Boyle’s Sunshine and Julia Kristeva’s Black Sun
    Ruth McPhee
  • Illustrated Sky: Contemporary Depictions of the Classical Constellations
    Melanie Schlossberg
  • The Cosmos from Outside: Views of the World and Cognitive Cobwebs
    Michael Hoepfel
  • Ethical Implications of Astrophotography and Stargazing
    Dietmar Hager
  • Revealing a Universe of Colour
    David Malin

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