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Conference "Astrology and the Body, 1100-1800"

  • 2006-09-08
  • 2006-09-09
  • University of Cambridge, UK
Two-day conference organized by Hilary Carey, Lauren Kassell and Rob Ralley, to be held at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, 8-9 September 2006. Astrology makes sense of the past and guides the future, positing a systematic link between man and the cosmos. It is one of the longest-standing intellectual traditions in history. It reached the heights of its sophistication in Renaissance Europe, an age that also generated profound questions about its credibility. Astrology, as, for instance, an explanatory system, a political discourse, and a source of theological controversy, is crucial to our understanding of the history of medieval and early modern Europe. In the past three decades increasing numbers of scholars have studied aspects of the history of astrology. They have adopted a variety of historical approaches, falling broadly into three groups: technical accounts of astrological methods and the texts that document them; intellectual histories that position astrology in relation to natural philosophy and theology; and social histories of beliefs in astrology. This conference will convene scholars working on all aspects of the history of astrology 1100-1800 to confront questions about ‘Astrology and the Body’, a theme which draws attention to the body as presumed recipient of astral influences. It will provide a forum for historians to discuss the continuities and differences in various astrological traditions, to consider the common features of their approaches and to explore the centrality of astrology to histories of natural philosophy, medicine, mathematics, other occult arts, theology, and politics. Speakers: Dr Monica Azzolini (University of New South Wales) Dr Claudia Brosseder (LMU, Munich, and Stanford, 2006-2007) Professor Charles Burnett (Warburg Institute) Professor Hilary Carey (University College Dublin) Professor Brian Copenhaver (UCLA) Dr Patrick Curry (University of Kent) Professor Darin Hayton (Haverford College, Pennsylvania) Dr Rob Ralley (University of Cambridge) Dr Darrel Rutkin (University of Oklahoma) Dr Steven vander Broeke (The Catholic University of Brussels) Professor Simon Schaffer (University of Cambridge) Professor Laura Smoller (University of Arkansas at Little Rock) Commentators: Mr Patrick Boner (University of Cambridge) Professor Jean-Patrice Boudet (Université d'Orléans) Dr David Juste (University of Sydney) Dr Lauren Kassell (University of Cambridge) Mr Martin Kjellgren (Lund University and Malmö University) Dr Alisha Rankin (University of Cambridge)

For further information check the conference homepage at

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