Religion Art and the Brain
10th – 13th March 2005
at Winchester Cathedral and
Theatre Royal Winchester
Jewry Street, Winchester SO23 8SB
Box Office 01962 840 440
£8 per day session – £6 concessions
£10 evening session – £8 concessions
Day ticket £30
Religious experience is a uniquely powerful and universal human characteristic. What triggers the brain to produce it, how does it do it, and why?
This three-day festival explores these questions from a psychological and physiological perspective, and demonstrates how music and art can be used to bring about the transcendent state of consciousness we identify as spirituality.
In our most ambitious festival to date, Art and Mind brings together a powerful mix of practitioners – Buddhist, Christian, Sufi and more – with artists, scientists and academics to explore the use of sacred spaces, epilepsy and ecstasy, consciousness and religion and the uses of religious music and ritual.
Through discussion, performance, exhibition and ritual we promise a weekend experience of such richness, fascination, revelation and pure pleasure that none of us will leave unchanged.
Thursday 10th March
7.30pm – The Mystery of Faith – a concert of works composed by John Tavener
This will include the world premiere of a new work by John Tavener commissioned for Art and Mind by University College Winchester.
All further sessions at Theatre Royal Winchester
Friday 11th March
6.30 – 6.40 Festival Director’s introduction
6.40 – 7.10 Science and Spirit in an Age of Secularism
Professor A. C. Grayling – Reader in Philosophy, Birbeck College, University of London
7.10 – 8.30 The Mystery of Faith
Sir John Tavener, composer, in discussion with June Boyce Tillman, Professor of Applied Music, University College Winchester
Evening Performance 8.30 – 9.30pm
The Mystic Heart of Islam – A performance by members of the Turkish Art Music group Nihavend will perform sufi music from Turkey:
The main piece will be Beyati Mevlevi Ayini composed by Kocek Mustafa Efendi (about 40 minutes). This will be followed by some ilahis, shorter religious songs in Turkish.
Whirling derwishes will be Sheikh Ahmed from the Netherlands and three of his adherents.
Saturday 12th March
11.00 – 12.45 Cradle of Thought – Carved in Stone – Art and Religion in Prehistory
Paul Bahn, archaeologist and leading authority on ice age cave art
The Evolution of God – The Deity in the Brain
Prof Todd Murphy, Behavioural Neuroscientist from, the Laurentian University
2.00 – 3.45 Music and Mind – Sacred and Profane – Decoding the spiritual world of Bach
Prof Paul Robertson, master violinist, with (in period costume} Baroque Dancers, Robin and Christine Stokoe
Concludes with full performance of Bach’s celebrated ‘Chaconne’ for Solo violin
4.30 – 6.30 The Egoless State – Mind of the Buddha – Spirituality and the Brain
Guy Claxton, Professor of the Learning Sciences, University of Bristol
Art and Mind Panel Event plus Q&A with Todd Murphy, Paul Bahn, Paul Robertson, Guy Claxton plus Chair
Evening Performance: 7.45 – 9.30 Power of Compassion – Sacred Dance and Ritual Chant
The Tibetan monks from Tashi Lhunpo Monastery perform their spectacular dances and music
Sunday 13th March
11.00 – 12.45 Art and Perception – Perceptual Projections – Virtual Realitites of the Mind
Professor Richard Gregory
Psychology, Bristol University
Sacred Spaces – Architecture and the Self
Garry Kennard, Artist, Director of Art and Mind
2.00 – 4.00pm Transcendence and Ecstasy – Viral Faith – Religion as Meme
Dr Susan Blackmore – neuroscientist and Zen practioner
Intoxicating Minds – Drugs and the Brain
Prof Ciaran Regan – Pharmacology, University College Dublin
4.30 – 6.30 Man and the Cosmos – Images of Passion
Richard Harries – Bishop of Oxford
Art and Mind Panel Event plus Q&A
Richard Gregory, Garry Kennard, Susan Blackmore, Ciaran Regan, Richard Harries plus Chair