Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published by the Sophia Centre Press in partnership with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, Faculty of Humanitiies and the Performing Arts, at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David

We are currently seeking submissions for future volumes of Culture and Cosmos.

Volume 16

What are these sparks of infinity clarity? And what am I? So I pry*

Ulisses Barres de Almeida


I approach the question of human fascination for, and the inspiration of, astronomical phenomena, based in the concept of elementary experience developed in the work of Luigi Giussani. I follow Giussani’s ideas in some detail and argue that man’s attraction for the world around him is rooted in the most fundamental experience of wonder before the ‘otherliness’ of reality. In the process of discovery and confrontation with something that is ‘other’, a dynamic is set out in which man’s reason is provoked and inspired to question and to create. To emphasize man’s personal experience of wonder before the skies and its cultural impact, the discussion is guided by several extracts from the literature and arts.

* Extract from Night-Song of a Wandering Shepherd of Asia, G. Leopardi, Canti, XXIII, free translation.

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