BA (BCAE), PhD (LaT)
Area of study
Religion and Spirituality
Dr Blackhirst has over twenty years experience as a tutor, lecturer and supervisor across the Arts and Humanities disciplines. The focus of his teaching is in Religious Studies but he has also taught in the Philosophy, Literature, Art History and History disciplines.
Dr Blackhirst's doctoral dissertation was entitled 'Myth in the Timaeus: the Mythological Underpinnings of Plato's Cosmology'. The thesis explores the roots of Plato's cosmology and natural science in Greek mythology and in the religious cults of ancient Athens.
Dr Blackhirst has wide interests in the traditional Humanities disciplines as well as various occidental philosophical and religion traditions. His interests include:
- Plato, Platonism, Pythagoreanism. The Hermetic sciences and traditional cosmologies. Alchemy.
- The monotheist religions: Judaism, Christianity, Islam. Early Christianity and Biblical texts. Religious art, architecture and iconography. The focus of Dr Blackhirst's research in these traditions has been the medieval Gospel of Barnabas.
- Contemporary spirituality. New religious movements. Anthroposophy.
- Greek Mythology
- Sects, Cults & Denominations
- Sacred Art & Symbols
- Biblical World
- Traditional Cosmologies
- Islamic Spirituality
- 'The Temptation in the Wilderness in the Medieval Gospel of Barnabas' The Journal of Higher Criticism, Vol. 6, No. 1, 1999.
- 'Barnabas and the Gospels: Was there an Early Gospel of Barnabas?' The Journal of Higher Criticism, Vol. 7, No. 1, 2000.
- 'Shadows & Strife: On Islam & the West' Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition & Modernity, Vol. 8 (with Harry Oldmeadow), 2001.
- Book of Moons (The Islamic calendar), self-published, 2001.
- 'Herbs and Wild Fruit: Judas Maccabee and Reflections of Rechabitism in the Medieval Gospel of Barnabas', The Journal of Higher Criticism, Vol. 9, No. 2 2002.
- 'Islam and Protestantism' The Australian Rationalist, 2003.
- 'Above and Below: Correspondence in Traditional Astrological Symbolism' Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition & Modernity, Vol. 12, 2003.
- 'Autochthony and the Symbolism of Islamic Prayer' Religioperennis, 2003.
- 'Central Themes in the Alchemy of Farming' in Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition & Modernity, Vol. 13, 2004.
- 'Capitalism, Tradition & Traditionalism' Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition & Modernity, Vol. 14, 2004.
- 'Rudolph Steiner, Anthroposophy & Tradition' (chapter in The Betrayal of Tradition, edited by Harry Oldmeadow, World Wisdom Books, 2005)
- 'The Diabolical Symbolism of the Automobile', Vincit Omnia Veritas, ii. 2, June, 2006.
- 'The Transcendent Connection and the Problem of Loneliness', Vincit Omnia Veritas, iii. 1, January, 2007.
- 'Evolutionism & Traditional Cosmologies', Vincit Omnia Veritas, iii. 2, July 2007
- 'The Spangled Tortoise: The Peculiar and Unusual Feature in Hermetic Modes of Exegesis', Vincit Omnia Veritas, iii. 2, July 2007.
- Outward & Inward Dimensions in Judaism, Christianity & Islam, Sacred Web: A Journal of Tradition & Modernity, Volume, 22, 2008.
- Primordial Alchemy and Modern Religion, monograph, Sophia Perennis Publications, 2008.
Lectures & Conferences
- Spirit 2001, Public Lecture Series, convenor, January-February, 2001.
- 'Australia Islamica: A Manifesto of Australian Islam', International Islamic University, Islamabad, Pakistan, November 2006.
- 'The Mysteries of Wine and Spiritual Transformation in Sufi and Christian Perspectives', Sufism and Intercultural Discourse, Iqbal Academy, Lahore, Pakistan, November, 2006.
- 'Sufism and Goethe', Goethe and Iqbal Conference, Iqbal Academy, Lahore, Pakistan, November 2006.
- 'The Relevance of Sufism Today' Minhaj University, Lahore, Pakistan, November 2006.
- Animals in Religion, Public Lecture Series, convenor, January-February 2007.
- 'Kosher and Halal: Food Laws in the Religions of Abraham', Animals in Religion Public Lecture Series, January 2007.
- 'Tales of the Buraq: an Islamic Bestiary', Animals in Religion Public Lecture Series, January 2007.
- Graeco-Islamic Medicine and Traditional Cosmologies - Department of Unani Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, India, February 2008.
- Plato and Graeco-Islamic Medicine - Department of Unani Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, India, February 2008.
- Islam & the Post-modern Predicament - Department of Philosophy, Aligarh Muslim University, India, February 2008.
- Attitudes to Other Religions in the Abrahamic Faiths, Co-ordinator, Report to the Plenary Session of the Sixth Annual Interfaith Conference, Doha, Qatar, May 14th 2008.