The Temenos Academy is an educational charity which offers education in philosophy and the arts in the light of the sacred traditions of East and West. The Greek word temenos means ‘a sacred precinct’, or the area around a temple.
In addition to its educational programme the Temenos Academy funds the Thetis Blacker Temenos Batik Scholarship, a biennial award for artists in batik.
The Academy developed from the journal Temenos, edited by the late Professor Keith Critchlow (architect and geometer; d. 2020), Brian Keeble (publisher and writer), Kathleen Raine (poet and literary scholar; d. 2003) and Philip Sherrard (theologian and Hellenist; d. 1995). The journal had a run of 13 issues, from 1981 to 1992; PDF copies of the complete contents can be found here. During this period two Temenos conferences were held at Dartington Hall in Devonshire: ‘Art and the Renewal of the Sacred’ (1986), and ‘Art in the Service of the Sacred’ (1988). There are a few recordings from the first of these conferences, which can be found here.
The Temenos Academy itself was founded in 1991, under the patronage of HRH The Prince of Wales. Besides the editors of the earlier journal, other individuals instrumental in its creation were John Stewart Allitt (teacher of Dante and musicologist; d. 2007), David Cadman (trustee), Dr Hans-Wolfgang Frick (trustee; d. 2011), Esme F. Howard (trustee) and Sir Peter Parker (trustee; d. 2002).
The Academy’s programme of lectures, seminars and study days was supplemented in 1998 by the establishment of a second journal, the Temenos Academy Review, which has appeared annually ever since. A selection of articles from the Review can be found here. In addition, the Academy has maintained a series of occasional Publications, beginning with the collection Temenos Academy: Inaugural Addresses (1992). A catalogue of all available Temenos Academy Publications, and issues of the Temenos Academy Review, can be found here.
Two further developments in the Academy’s activities are particularly worthy of mention. In 2013 the Academy established a Foundation Course in the Perennial Philosophy: originally running for one year, this has subsequently been extended into a two-year programme. Details concerning the Foundation Course can be found here. In the same year, the Academy held a conference ‘Ancient Springs: The Arts, the Imagination and Our World’, at St Hilda’s College, Oxford; further details concerning the conference can be found here.
[Image credit: Jane Weaver: How I Wonder What We Are, 2010;
Patchwork quilt inspired by her geometry teacher, the late Keith Critchlow and his wife Gail.]
[Image credit on the Publications page:
Cecil Collins: Central motif from the Altarpiece The Divine Sun in Flux of Divine Light in Chichester Cathedral]