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Temenos Academy Day Conference

Temenos Academy Day Conference


For all information please email Dr Nicholas Campion. n.campion@uwtsd.ac.uk

The Learning of the Imagination: Wisdom Traditions and Sacred Vision

A One Day Conference with The Temenos Academy

supported by the Harmony Institute 

The Founders Library, University of Wales Trinity Saint David Lampeter Campus

About the Temenos Academy

The Temenos Academy is an association dedicated to the teaching and dissemination of the perennial wisdom, which has been the ground of every civilisation.  We believe that men and women are first and foremost beings with spiritual needs that have to be nourished if we hope to fulfil our potential and be happy. Our purpose in Temenos is to study the learning of the Imagination, both in the arts and the teachings that express that traditional spiritual knowledge. 

For more about the Temenos Academy, its aims, foundation, courses, lectures and activities here:


About the day

Temenos is offering a day of talks introducing some key themes and thinkers in this tradition. We hope to create a ‘Temenos’, a sacred space, to encourage the exchange of ideas about the values we have inherited and which we wish to pass to future generations. 

The day is free and a vegetarian lunch is provided, but please register a week beforehand if you would like lunch, and so that we have numbers for morning and afternoon refreshments.


Joseph Milne: Cosmic Harmony and the Sacred City.

This lecture will draw upon ancient myths and philosophy to show the enduring relation between the divine order of the cosmos and human life. This will also explore the links between the 'imagination' with the ecological aims of the Harmony Project.

Hilary Davies: ‘Sacred Vision and the Landscape’.

In this lecture, I will look at how three different poets: David Jones, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas have been inspired by the Welsh landscape to open up the visionary world of the imagination through their poetry. They raise questions about how we are embedded in past landscapes, how present landscapes offer us spiritual dimensions, and .what stewardship we owe for the future. 

Grevel Lindop: ‘W.B. Yeats and the Poet's Quest for Vision’

Yeats wrote, 'The mystical life is the centre of all that I do and all that I think and all that I write'. A deeply religious person, he nonetheless rejected both the Protestantism and the Catholicism which divided the Ireland of his time, and instead explored Indian religion, Western occultism, Neoplatonism, spiritualism, and indigenous Irish traditions, in search of the underlying truth from which he believed they all derived. The lecture will explore how he embodied the stages of his quest in poetry, which he regarded as ‘the spiritual intellect’s great work’.

Howard Hull: Storming into Beauty: Ruskin, Turner and the Ethics of the Dust

Ruskin coined the term ‘heartsight’ to describe JMW Turner’s vision of ‘vital beauty’. Beauty in Ruskin’s book was a life-giving force, an agency in which affection and kindness create a sustaining ecology for all amid the atomising chaos of an otherwise brutal world. Ruskin expanded his reading of Turner’s painterly techniques to embrace a wider law of life which he called the Law of Help. For Turner the primary medium was light, for Ruskin it was the earth, but for both the human heart provided the central fire for everything, animating nature and mankind for good or bad according to the values and spirit it embodied.

About the Speakers 

Hilary Davies has published four collections of poetry from Enitharmon: the latest, Exile and the Kingdom, was published in November 2016. She is also a translator, essayist and critic. Hilary has won an Eric Gregory award, been a Hawthornden Fellow and served as Chairman of the Poetry Society of Great Britain. She is currently a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the British Library. She reviews regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, PN Review and The Tablet.

Grevel Lindop was formerly Professor of English at Manchester University. He has published seven collections of poems as well as travel books and biographies, most recently of the poet, novelist, theologian and 'Inkling' Charles Williams. He is currently writing a book on the spiritual life and poetry of W.B. Yeats. 

Howard Hull is Director of Brantwood, John Ruskin's former home in the Lake District, where he has lived with his wife, Pamela, since 1996. He is a Ruskin scholar and passionate advocate of his legacy.

Joseph Milne is an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Kent where he taught on the MA course in Mysticism and Religious Experience until his retirement in 2013. He is the editor of Land and Liberty, the journal of the Henry George Foundation, and the author of several Temenos Academy Papers, including The Lost Vision of Nature (2018). He is a Fellow of the Temenos Academy and a member of its Academic Board.

For other accommodation in and around Lampeter please see here.