From medieval chivalry and prophecy to the age of discovery:
The Iberian Matrix
Yuri Stoyanov, Ph.D.
The Catalan-Aragonese and Portuguese dimensions of medieval chivalric literature and ideology (Arthurian, Holy Grail-related, etc,.) are increasingly seen as crucial for understanding of the survival and role of military-religious orders in the Iberian-propelled Age of Discovery between the 15th and 17th centuries. In the Iberian melting pot, these traditions encountered, blended and cross-fertilized with diverse trends of prophetic and apocalyptic literature – as in the case of the polymath Arnaldus de Villa Nova (1240-1311). This is also reflected in the era’s striking millennialist prophetic visions, dynastic narratives (with their regional and global aspirations) and evocative “hidden king” prophecies. Underpinned further by astrological speculations and calculations as well as sacred geography and geopolitics notions, the Iberian matrix of ancient and cutting-edge ideas and currents inaugurated in the 15th century the Age of Discovery, when distant civilizations were brought into contact for the first time and new worldviews started to emerge and transform the globe.
platonic principles in high medieval churces
Scott Olsen, Ph.D.
Platonic principles of construction are found in high medieval churches throughout Europe. Our focus in this session will be on the design of Templar churches from Tomar to London, along the Camino of Santiago pilgrimage, and on other churches and cathedrals of the period. We will give special attention to the work of Keith Critchlow, distinguished architect and prior Esoteric Quest presenter, and his viewpoint regarding Platonic geometry that “the golden mean recurs consistently throughout the proportioning of the great sacred buildings of mankind.” We will also consider John Michell’s position that the geometric structure of the Temple was the lynch pin linking Man to the Cosmos and key to understanding the entire philosophy and science of the Ancient World. We will draw too on the sketchbook of 13th century artist Villard de Honnecourt, and consider the contribution of contemporary architects Steve Bass and Alvin Holm.
The Strange World of Neo-Templarism
Christopher McIntosh, D.Phil.
When the Knights Templar were dissolved in the early 14th century a legend was born that has continued to grow over time and has given rise to a plethora of groups and orders invoking the name and mystique of the Templars. These include Masonic and esoteric orders, charitable initiatives, conservative political groups and other types of organizations operating under a Templar banner. This workshop will complement Christopher’s lecture on the real history of the Templars by exploring the multiple and complex expressions that have grown out of this initial impulse.
Portugal After the Earthquake, as seen by William Beckford
Joscelyn Godwin, Ph.D.
William Beckford (1760-1844) jumped ship in Lisbon in 1787 to avoid having to manage his sugar plantations in Jamaica. He wittily recorded his musical and erotic adventures in the high society of Lisbon and Sintra, and later wrote a classic travelog describing his excursion to the monasteries of Alcobaça and Batalha. But looming over all this were two moral shadows: Beckford’s dependence on slavery for his immense wealth, and the lasting impact of the Lisbon Earthquake of 1755 on Christendom’s belief in a benevolent Deity.
For more information, please contact Andrea Lomanto at firstname.lastname@example.org
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