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  • Spirituality and the Arts SIG: A Special Talk with Dr Thomas Daffern

Spirituality and the Arts SIG: A Special Talk with Dr Thomas Daffern

  • 13/07/2022
  • 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
  • Zoom
  • 74


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In our next event, we will be hosting Dr Thomas Daffern who will give a talk on The Delphic Games: An Ancient Tale Worth Retelling.


In this talk Dr Thomas Daffern will share something of the history of the ancient Delphic games. For over 1000 years in the ancient world, these games were as important as the Olympic Games and took part every 4 years, 2 years after the Olympic games that were their sisters.

Whereas the Olympic Games concentrated on manly prowess, sports, athletics, chariot racing, wrestling, running races etc. the Delphic (Pythian) games focused on the arts, poetry, music, dance, theatre. They were a showcase chance for the entire ancient world to come together in peace and share artistic performances. These games were under the aegis of Apollo and the Muses and so were regarded as the pinnacle of an artist’s career if he or she competed in them and won. The games were conceived as an irenic project from the very beginning, and city states could not send representatives to the games if they were currently at war. Aristotle was interested in these Delphic (Pythian) games and once visited them, but there is still much left to discover about them.

Although the Olympic games were revived back in the 1890’s it took a further hundred years for the Delphic (Pythian) games to be revived. Now they have restarted, with an international office in Berlin, and Thomas will share the story of how this happened and what they have achieved to date. He will also explain his own role as Educational Coordinator for the reborn Delphic (Pythian) Games and how colleagues in the arts world all over the globe can get involved.

As a poet, he will end with a poem about Greek and modern poetics and its overlap with spirituality. 


Dr Thomas Daffern is a philosopher, historian, peace studies expert, poet and religious studies specialist. He holds a PhD from the University of London for a thesis which explores the history of the search for peace, and which proposes a new field of historiography, Transpersonal History. More recently he has developed the Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions as a teaching aid for use in schools and universities. As Peace Officer to the Council of British Druid Orders, he practices an eco-centred spirituality affirming the wisdom of primal peoples of all cultures, epochs and geographical regions. Dr Daffern is a prolific author, a notable activist who has initiated many international schemes.  He is currently serving as Educational Coordinator for the Delphic Games. 

We are looking forward to an exciting and engaging discussion. Come and share your thoughts, ideas, and join in the chat.

Join our  Facebook Group called Spirituality and the Arts using this link. 

For more details, see https://spiritualitystudiesnetwork.org/Spirituality-and-the-Arts-SIG

The SIG Chairs: the Rev. Prof. June Boyce-Tillman, Dr Lila Moore, Annalisa Burello. 

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