I am Programme Director for the MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred https://www.facebook.com/mcscccu/ For many years I was deeply involved in the performance of Renaissance and Baroque music, and I completed an MA in Music Performance studies at the City University, London. I then went on to write a PhD on the astrological music therapy of the Renaissance magus Marsilio Ficino. My chief area of interest is the imagination as a path of spiritual or gnostic knowledge, and I have been deeply immersed in Hermetic, neoplatonic and esoteric philosophies and traditions in the West for many years. I have taught on the MA in Western Esotericism at the University of Exeter, and I also ran the MA in the Cultural Study of Cosmology and Divination at the University of Kent. Here at CCCU we have created an MA programme which aims to unite critical, creative and reflexive modes of knowing, very much based on Iain McGilchrist's study of the complementarity of the brain hemispheres, and Jeffrey Kripal's notion of 'the third classroom'. In this regard we connect with the Jungain aspects of the Transformative Learning movement within Education. Overall, I would say that my academic passion is the marriage of scholarship with spiritual wisdom, and to that end I research and write about the power of symbolism and symbolic imterpretation (particularly in forms of divination), the revival of neoplatonic thought, and the imagination as a tool for reflexive methodologies. In 2017 I became a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.
Research and knowledge exchange
My current research projects are on astrological symbolism in the music of Claudio Monteverdi, the theurgic symbol in 16th century music, and a methodological comparison of Wouter Hanegraaff and Jeffrey Kripal's approaches to the study of religion. I currently supervise 5 PhD students who are working on mediumship, music and cosmology, conflict resolution, the archetype of the wise woman and the seven liberal arts in Freemasonry. I am also co-leader of the Research Theme Group Post Secular Values and the Sacred, with Bob Bowie and Jennifer Hardes. See my academia.edu page for my publications. My latest publication is Re-enchanting the Academy, co-edited with Simon Wilson, Rubedo Press 2017.
Teaching and subject expertise
On the MA in Myth, Cosmology and the Sacred I teach modules on methodology (with my colleague Dr Geoffrey Cornelius), Symbol and Imagination, and Spirit and Psyche (again with Geoffrey). I also supervise students with their Learning Journals, Creative Projects and Dissertations.
In September 2015 we organised a very successful conference at CCCU on Re-Enchanting the Academy, with over 70 delegates (UK, EU and international). In 2017 I gave presentations at the Tyringham Institute on Daimonic Intelligence, and the Transpersonal Colloquium in Prague on a methodology of hermeutics.
Publications and research outputs
My most recent work includes Marsilio Ficino (Western Esoteric Masters: North Atlantic Books 2006), co-editor of The Imaginal Cosmos (with Jean Lall, University of Kent, 2007), Seeing with Different Eyes: Essays in Astrology and Divination (with Patrick Curry, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2008), Daimonic Imagination: Uncanny Intelligence (with William Rowlandson, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013), Re-Enchanting the Academy (With Simon Wilson, Rubedo Press, 2017).
I have written over 30 chapters, papers and reviews, most of which can be found on my Academia.edu site.