November 2017

Gods, Goddesses, Heaven and Hell

Welcome to South Lakeland DFAS
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 -
13:30 to 14:30
Brewery Arts Centre
122A Highgate Kendal LA9 4HE

Mankind has always sought to understand where we have come from, where we go to and who is in control of our destiny. There have been gods and goddesses since time immemorial. They have usually sat "up (or down) there". The wheeling stars provide the perfect foreground for Heaven. As western ideas of heaven and hell have changed under the influence of rulers, philosophers, astronomers, astrologers and writers, so poets, artists, sculptors, manuscript illustrators and craftspersons have cloaked those ideas and made them available for their patrons and for ordinary people. In particular, the lecture considers … i) the extraordinary influence that Plato and Aristotle had on the shaping of all thought about the Heavens until the late Renaissance; ii) how the Church and the Establishment moulded the ideas of the Greek philosophers and astronomers to build a heavenly cosmology to meet its own ends. In many ways, this impeded the progress of scientific and philosophical thought until the Islamic influence and the Renaissance gave birth to the Enlightenment. 


Mr Kevin Karney

Studied Natural Sciences at Cambridge University, VSO teacher in Borneo, and worked across the world as an underground engineer. Now a magistrate in Gwent. Has had a life-long interest in the history of timekeeping and cosmology, and in sundials in particular, as objects of art, craft and science. His specialist topic is the Equation of Time. Lectured on various aspects of sundials in UK and USA, including to the British Sundial and North American Sundial Societies. Publications include articles in the journals of both these societies.