Prometheus Trust
TTS Catalogue
Texts and Translations
Other books
ISNS Collections
Complete Catalogue
Zoom Courses
Essentials Course
Exploring Platonism
Warburg Neoplatonic Reading
London Monday  Evenings
Bristol Monthly sessions
Academy Appeal
Past Conferences
Conference program
Virtual Events
ISNS Scholars Articles
Meadow 1
Meadow 2
Meadow 3
Thomas Taylor
The Trust
Files to download
Seeds and fruits
Contact us
Study weeks in Italy
Latest books
Reading group
Weekend on Myth



“The Embrace of Neoplatonism”



28-30 June 2024


Previous years’ conferences: click here

For full details of the conference programme, click here

The sixteenth annual Prometheus Trust Conference -

The Embrace of Neoplatonism

. . . it is requisite we should transfer the divine spectacle into ourselves, and behold it as one, and as the same with our essence: just as if any one hurried away by the vigorous impulse of some god, whether Apollo or one of the Muses, should procure in himself the intuition of the god; since in the secret recesses of his own essence, he will behold the divinity himself.” – Plotinus (V, viii, 10)

The mature development of Platonism in late antiquity (now known as Neoplatonism) offers us a model of philosophic integration of our various spheres of investigations and experiences unique at least in the West. Its wide embrace draws together elements that modern culture tends to see as alienated - science and religion, reason and mysticism, individual soul-culture and the collective, human life and that of nature, mythos and logos.

This conference invites contributions from those who are exploring this comprehensive understanding both in terms of its original expression, and in its continuing influence onwards to the present day, and perhaps its promise for the future.

We hope that included in the range of papers presented within this general theme will be some that consider the effect on those who, in their turn, embrace Neoplatonism and its transcendent spirit. Neoplatonic writings often speak directly to the reader as fellow travellers on a path which leads to a “life of the Gods” “ does this resonated with the experience of this embrace?

A keynote address from Professor Michael Griffin will open the conference on the evening of the 28th and Sara Ahbel-Rappe will deliver sixteenth Thomas Taylor lecture on the evening of the 29th.

This is a call for papers on theme of "The Embrace of Neoplatonism":

As usual the Prometheus Trust is hoping that contributors will be drawn from a wide range of backgrounds, academic and non-academic, specialist and non-specialist, artistic, scientific, political, religious and philosophic.


Abstracts should be no more than 300 words and should be sent to at the latest by Friday, 5 April 2024. Acceptance of these will be confirmed as quickly as possible. 

Papers should be around 2500-3000 words or 20 minutes’ presentation (we usually allow a further 15-20 minutes for a question and answer session after each presentation).

The conference will be opened formally on the evening of Friday 28th, with a keynote address from Professor Michael Griffin:

‘A world in a grain of sand’: A Platonist model of dialogue and the good life     

Why did ancient Platonism strive to integrate so many ways of seeing the world – theological, scientific, poetic, and social? Platonists argued that our hopes for ourselves and our communities depended on sincere and open dialogue across disciplines and diverse experiences. Every individual viewpoint bears a unique flavour and an irreducible value, for 'everyone gets something right about the nature of things... but when you put us all together, you get a lot right' (Aristotle, Met. α.1). This talk explores a late Platonist model of interweaving mythological, social, and scientific languages, within seven mutually compatible ways of seeing and navigating human experience – natural, habitual, communal, liberative, visionary, symbolic, and inspired. The legacy of Platonism in subsequent philosophy and art helps to render this model appealing and vital today.

Michael Griffin is Head of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies in the Department of Philosophy of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada


On Saturday 29th the Thomas Taylor Lecture will be delivered - by Professor Sara Ahbel-Rappe

Theurgist Dreaming the Platonist Tradition

 How does one or did one ever become a Platonist? Is it by reading the dialogues, taking classes at University, writing a dissertation in a philosophy department, publishing articles in a scholarly journal, attending the Prometheus Trust conference? Certainly, we cannot insist on initiation into the tradition at the hands of a hierophant, nor join up with members of an Academy-in-Exile as did the Platonists of 529, CE, when Justinian shut down the Platonic Academy and dispersed its scholarchs. How did one ever, for that matter, become a Platonist, given its infusions into Christian, Islamic, and Jewish thought, its continuance in the Neoplatonic schools of Alexandria and Athens, and its rediscovery in the Latin translations of Marsilio Ficino in the quattrocento?

This paper considers the function of Platonist theurgic, that is to say, initiatory dream encounters: in Plato’s works, among the Neoplatonists of late antiquity as well as within later traditions of Platonism (e.g. in the Persian sage, Suhrawardi), as they can be detected among modernists such as Jung, and finally, in terms of the author’s own personal dream journey. It offers not so much an argument as a testimony to the power of what Ficino called in his treatise, De divino furori, the imagination as a conduit for the activation of the mind’s capacity to begin to see its own nature, and in this specific sense, become acclimated, if not actually initiated, into Platonist ways of being. 

Sara Ahbel-Rappe is professor of Greek and Latin at the University of Michigan, USA,

* * * *

Accommodation and travel

The conference will take place at Purley Chase Centre, Mancetter, near Atherstone in Warwickshire, which is comfortable and well appointed.  Residential prices are for full board for the weekend (from Friday supper to Sunday lunch) and are 200 (single or twin ensuite per person) and 175 (dormitory); non-residential price to include all meals except breakfasts is 45. Participants are encouraged to attend for the whole weekend and there are no reductions for partial attendance.  There is limited ensuite accommodation available. If you are unable to afford these charges we do have a limited number of bursaries - please contact the Treasurer in confidence ( to apply for a bursary.

Note the nearest international airport is Birmingham International - there is public transport available between Birmingham International and Atherstone rail station. By car the route is about 15 miles. 

Conference fee: This charge is 50 and is payable with your booking. It is non-refundable in the event of cancellation. There are no concessions for this charge and is applicable to all delegates. Accommodation fees are payable by end of May.

Booking forms are available from the Conference Secretary at the above address or phone number or by email:, - they can also be downloaded here. Completed forms with your deposit of 50 should be returned by SATURDAY, 27 APRIL at the very latest, and before if possible as places are limited.

Travel: By Car: The centre is just over 2 kilometres South of the A5 near Atherstone. It can be approached from all points of the compass via the motorway network, using M1, M6, M42 or M69 for instance. If travelling along the A5 from the East then just before Atherstone, take the B4111 towards Mancetter. If you are travelling along the A5 from the West, go past Atherstone on the dual carriageway and when you reach the large roundabout at the end, take the right exit towards Mancetter B4111. After about a quarter of a mile on B4111, just past The Plough pub and the church, take a right turn to Purley Chase Golf Club (brown road sign). Over the traffic light controlled bridge, follow the road round to the right and up through the trees, Purley Chase Centre is about a quarter of a mile further on, on the right.

By rail:The nearest main line railway station is at Nuneaton, about 10 kilometres away. Nuneaton is on the main line between London and Lancashire, and trains also serve Atherstone about 2 miles away. These towns are also served by various bus and coach services. A taxi from Atherstone railway station to the Centre costs roughly 12. Local Taxi companies are: AAA Taxis: 01827 713637 A.R.L Cars: 01942 888111 Atherstone Taxis: 01827 712427. If travelling from London to Atherstone, the taxi rank is a short distance from the station, next to the bus station.


For further details phone 01291 409018 (or +44 1291 409018 from outside the UK) or write to 14 Tylers Way, Sedbury, Chepstow, Glos, NP16 7AB, UK or email