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Call for Papers: Second Sight and Prophecy

  • 2013-06-14
  • 2013-06-16
  • Aberdeen
Call for Papers – ‘Second Sight and Prophecy’

University of Aberdeen
14-16 June 2013
Conference organised by the School of Divinity, History and Philosophy, and the Elphinstone Institute at the University of Aberdeen; sponsored by the Folklore Society

This interdisciplinary conference welcomes participants from a range of academic disciplines including History, Folklore, Anthropology, Divinity and Sociology whose research interests cover a wide range of topics exploring varying methods used by different cultures (both now and in the past) to look into the future and the rationale for so doing. The future has always held a fascination for humankind especially in times of tribulation and this is worthy of academic discussion in light of the changes affecting so many of us in our current global context. The role in culture of seers and prophets, by whatever name they are known, and the use of rituals, drugs and sacred sites, etc. will be examined.

Abstracts of 300 words are invited on any of the following or related topics. These should be submitted by 15 November 2012 to the conference convenor,
Dr Alex Sutherland, History Department, University of Aberdeen;

Papers might address:
  • Astrology and its rationale(s) for predicting the future.
  • Biblical prophecy as depicted in the arts.
  • Divination in any form.
  • English attitudes to second sight.
  • Healing wells.
  • How modern scientists have appropriated the persona of the prophet or visionary seer.
  • Landscape and prophecy in art.
  • Old Norse and later Scandinavian sources on prophecy.
  • Popular Catholic belief in prophecy before and after the Reformation.
  • Prophecy in Native American tribes.
  • Prophetic utterances by the courts, commoners, and the church.
  • Reading the future in the landscape of settlements.
  • Renaissance science and astrology.
  • Sami shamanism.
  • Second sight and prophecy in Scottish Gaeldom.
  • Second sight and prophecy in the Viking world.
  • Second sight in Gaelic traditions as they survived and evolved in Nova Scotian communities.
  • Seers and seeresses in medieval Icelandic saga literature.
  • The early Islamic world & its connections with astrology.
  • The role of prophecies, visions and dreams in poetry and allegorical tales.
  • The role of prophecy in the origins of Islam, in the pre-Islamic Arabian environment
  • The use of sites, dreams and ancestors for prophecies by indigenous peoples.
  • Visual and verbal imagery of natural objects as coded language for the use of entheogens to attain divine / prophetic knowledge.
  • Welsh prophetic poetry.
  • When prophecy fails.

Address: Dr Alex Sutherland
School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
History Department
Crombie Annexe
Meston Walk
Aberdeen AB24 3FX
Tel: 01224 273051

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