Astrology as Heresy in Contemporary Belief

Authors

  • Garry Phillipson University of Wales Trinity Saint David

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.38056

Keywords:

astrology, cosmologies, cultural understanding

Abstract

Astrology has been characterised as a heresy by many Christian thinkers, from the time of the early Church Fathers to the present day. In contemporary discourse, astrology is often treated as if it were a heresy against science. I provide examples of astrologers being treated as heretics in the name of science, and an alternative conception of astrology as a form of divination, not dependent on scienti?c substantiation. I argue that the ‘astrology’ often criticised in the name of science may be de?ned as much by scientism’s need for a construction to de?ne itself against, as by the actual views of horoscopic astrologers. The emerging picture is that criticisms of astrology are typically based on a mixture of legitimate objections and scientistic belief. I conclude that scientism’s unspoken aspiration to orthodoxy emerges through the parallels between its approach to astrology and that of the Church.

Author Biography

Garry Phillipson, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Garry Phillipson, Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, Faculty of Humanities and Performing Arts, University of Wales Trinity Saint David, Lampeter, Ceredigion, Wales.

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Published

2019-05-08

How to Cite

Phillipson, G. (2019). Astrology as Heresy in Contemporary Belief. Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture, 13(1), 12–30. https://doi.org/10.1558/jsrnc.38056