Astrology, Science and Culture: Pulling Down the Moon

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Bloomsbury Academic, Apr 24, 2004 - Body, Mind & Spirit - 170 pages
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Mainstream science has long dismissed astrology as a form of primitive superstition, despite or perhaps even because of its huge popular interest. From daily horoscopes to in-depth and personalized star forecasts, astrology, for many, plays a crucial role in the organization of everyday life. Present-day scholars and scientists remain baffled as to why this pseudo-science exercises such control over supposedly modern, rational and enlightened individuals, yet so far they have failed to produce any meaningful analysis of why it impacts on so many lives and what lies behind its popular appeal. Moving beyond scientific scepticism, Astrology, Science and Culture finally fills the gap by probing deeply into the meaning and importance of this extraordinary belief system. From the dawn of pre-history, humankind has had an intimate connection with the stars. With its roots in the Neolithic culture of Europe and the Middle East, astrology was traditionally heralded as a divinatory language. Willis and Curry argue that, contrary to contemporary understanding including that of most astrologers astrology was originally, and remains, a divinatory practice. Tackling its rich and controversial history, its problematic relationship to Jungian theory, and attempts to prove its grounding in objective reality, this book not only persuasively demonstrates that astrology is far more than a superstitious relic of years gone by, but that it enables a fundamental critique of the scientism of its opponents. Groundbreaking in its reconciliation of astrologys ancient traditions and its modern day usage, this book impressively unites philosophy, science, anthropology, and history, to produce a powerful exploration of astrology, past and present.

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About the author (2004)

Roy Willis is Emeritus Fellow in Social Anthropology, University of Edinburgh.

Patrick Curry is Associate Lecturer, Bath Spa University College.

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