Jun 28 2016

New publication: Divination as Science A Workshop on Conducted during the 60th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Warsaw, 2014. Jeanette C. Fincke, Ed.

divinationasscience

 

This new book on the scientific nature of divination in the ancient Near East was recently released (June, 2016) by Eisenbraun’s. Reviews and comments are very much welcome.

Bibliographic details:

Divination as Science
A Workshop on Conducted during the 60th Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale, Warsaw, 2014
Edited by Jeanette C. Fincke
Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale – RAI 60W1
Eisenbrauns, 2016
Pp. xi + 172
ISBN: 1-57506-425-1
ISBN13: 978-1-57506-425-3
Your Price: $44.55

Description 

There is no doubt that Ancient Near Eastern divination is firmly rooted in religion, since all ominous signs were thought to have been sent by gods, and the invocation of omens was embedded in rituals. Nonetheless, the omen compendia display many aspects of a generally scientific nature. In their attempt to note all possible changes to the affected objects and to arrange their observations systematically for reference purposes, the scholars produced texts that resulted in a rather detailed description of the world, be it with respect to geography (the urban or rural environment on earth, or celestial and meteorological phenomena observed in the sky), biology (the outer appearance of the bodies of humans or animals, or the entrails of sheep), sociology (behavior of people) or others. Based on different divination methods and omen compendia, the question discussed during this workshop was whether the scholars had a scientific approach, presented as religion, or whether Ancient Near Eastern divination should be considered purely religious and that the term “science” is inappropriate in this context. The workshop attracted a large audience and lively discussion ensued. The papers presented in this volume reflect the focus of the sessions during the workshop and are likely to generate even more discussion, now that they are published.

Table of Contents for Divination as Science

Preface

Abbreviations

Bibliographical Abbreviations

Divination Between Religion and Science, JoAnn Scurlock

Bias in Observations of Natural Phenomena made for Divinatory Purposes, Ulla Susanne Koch

“Šamaš, great lord, whom I am asking, answer me with a reliable ‚Yes!”: The Influence of Divination on the Result of War, Krzysztof Ulanowski

Sheep Anatomical Terminology in the šumma immeru Omen Series and Additional Texts, Yoram Cohen

Some Remarks about the Old Babylonian Libanomancy Texts, Maria Stella Cingolo

The Oldest Mesopotamian Astronomical Treatise: enuma anu enlil, Jeanette C. Fincke

Divination and Religion as a Cultural System, Paul Delnero

Indexes

General index

Index of texts

For more information, or to order, please visit Eisenbrauns.


Jan 06 2016

Egyptian Astronomy with Dr. Bernadette Brady on London Study Day, February 6, 2016

Egyptian Goddess Nut

If you’re in the vicinity of London, you’re invited to join Dr. Bernadette Brady as she teaches An Introduction to Egyptian Astronomy on London Study Day, Sophia Centre for the University of Wales Trinity Saint David.

During this session, participants will learn about the myth, religion, and civic roles of the sky in ancient Egypt from the time of the Old Kingdom through the Hellenistic period.

Study Day will take place on Saturday, February 6, 2016, 10:00 am – 5:30 pm, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David London Campus, Winchester House, 11 Cranmer Rd, London SW9 6EJ.

For more information and/or to register, please visit the event web site.

 


Jul 19 2015

New(ish) publication: The Scientification of Religion: An Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800-2000, by Kocku von Stuckrad

scientification

In The Scientification of Religion: An Historical Study of Discursive Change, 1800-2000 (De Gruyter, 2014), Kocku von Stuckrad describes “the discursive constructions of  ’religion’ and ‘science’ through the disciplines of astrology, astronomy, psychology, alchemy, chemistry, and scientific experimentation more generally. The second half of the book explores the power of academic legitimization of knowledge in emerging European modernities.” (Source: Review by Kristian Petersen, accessible here.)

The table of contents for this volume may be found here.

An interview with von Stuckrad on a wide range of topics, including Theosophy, marginalized knowledge, Earth-based spirituality, Jewish mysticism, Paganism, and contemporary science, is also available at the above link at the bottom of the page. This is one of the best interviews I’ve listened to in a while.

I have yet to read this volume, but look forward to doing so. I also welcome scholarly guest reviewers in the broadly overlapping areas of astronomy and religion. If you have read this book (or plan to) or other volumes spanning astronomy (and/or space) and religion, and wish to post a review here, please e-mail me at a_lobel@live.concordia.ca.

 


Dec 07 2014

Call for papers — The Ninth International Conference on The Inspiration of Astronomical Phenomena (INSAP IX)

The call for papers has been posted here for INSAP IX, the ninth international conference on the inspiration of astronomical phenomena. The conference will take place from August 23-28, 2015 at Gresham College, London. The deadline for abstract submission is January 30, 2015.

INSAP IX is sponsored by the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, University of Wales Trinity Saint David.


Oct 31 2014

Book review: Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature

ancientjewishsciencescover

As promised, my review of the 2013 publication Ancient Jewish Sciences and the History of Knowledge in Second Temple Literature, edited by Jonathan Ben-Dov and Seth L. Sanders. New York: NYU Press.


Sep 06 2014

Colloquium announcement: The Star of Bethlehem — Historical and Astronomical Perspectives

This two-day colloquium will take place at the University of Groningen on October 23 and 24, 2014.

Scholars in the history of astronomy, ancient history, religion and related fields will speak on the topic of the Star of Bethlehem. There is also space for approximately thirty guest attendees.

Among the list of speakers are Owen Gingerich, Alexander Jones, John Steele, Kocku von Stuckrad, and Mladen Popović. This should be a most exciting and fruitful colloquium.

More information may be found at this link.


Nov 01 2013

New publication: “From Babylon to Jerusalem: The Roots of Jewish Astrological Symbolism”, in ‘Sky and Symbol’ (Eds. Nicholas Campion and Liz Greene)

skysymbolandrealobel

My article, “From Babylon to Jerusalem: The Roots of Jewish Astrological Symbolism” has now been published in Sky and Symbol (Eds. Nicholas Campion and Liz Greene). The book may be ordered here, at Amazon.com if interested.

Table of Contents

Introduction
Nicholas Campion and Liz Greene

Part One: The Nature of Symbols
Is Astrology a Symbolic Language?
Nicholas Campion

Art, Astronomy, and Symbolism in the Age of Science
Gary Wells

Ritual Ornamentation—From the Secular to the Religious
Pamela Armstrong

Part Two: Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern Expressions
The Burning Sun and the Killing Resheph: Proto-Astrological Symbolism and Ugaritic Epic
Ola Wikander

From Babylon to Jerusalem: The Roots of Jewish Astrological Symbolism
Andrea D. Lobel

The Perugia Fountain: An Encyclopaedia of Sky, Culture, and Society
Darrelyn Gunzburg

Theosis, Vision, and the Astral Body in Medieval German Pietism and the Spanish Kabbalah
Elliot Wolfson

‘Chemistry, That Starry Science’: Early Modern Conjunctions of Astrology and Alchemy
Peter Forshaw

Part Three: Astrological Symbols and Modernity
Katherine Maltwood, H. P. Blavatsky, and the Origins of the Glastonbury Landscape Zodiac
Anthony Thorley

The Celestial Imaginary in Weimar Cinema
Jennifer Zahrt

Reading the Future in the Landscape: Astrology in Zanadroandrenaland, Central East Madagascar
Christel Mattheeuws

Receiving the ‘Messengers’: The Astrology of Jung’s Liber Novus
Liz Greene

Tags: , , , , , , ,