Dr. Thomas Clough Daffern is a British-Canadian philosopher, academic, teacher, historian, poet, esotericist, author, musician, educator, Druid-Christian, Sufi, Qabalist, Jnana Yogi, consultant and peace studies specialist. His academic background includes degrees in world history, with specialist work on the history of ideas, the history of philosophy and Slavonic and East European history, and a long period of intense private study in philosophy, religion and the history of ideas, a process of learning which continues to the present day. He also studied philosophy at the University of Bristol and at the University of Calgary, in Canada. He is also an experienced secondary school religious studies and philosophy teacher. Thomas has been initiated into various spiritual traditions, and has long pioneered interfaith education at a senior level. He took Bodhisattva tantric vows as a Buddhist at the age of 20, studied yoga and Sufism intensely from aged 19 onwards, attended Quaker meetings in Canada regularly from 1978-1981, and was baptised as an ecumenical (Anglican) Christian at the University of London in 1989. A holistic metaphysical thinker, Thomas also served as Secretary General of the World Conference on Religions and Peace (UK and Ireland) from 1990-1997 (www.religionsforpeace.org) and has long advocated the path to world peace through intellectual, philosophical and spiritual reconciliation. He participated in the Vatican / Riva Del Garda Conference of the World Conference on Religion and Peace in 1994 along with some 900 religious leaders from around the world (which experience led to the creation of the Multifaith Mediation Service). As a scholar-practitioner, he also has an intensive knowledge and first hand personal experience of studying and teaching Judaism, Kabbalah, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Bahaism, classical paganisms, Hinduism, Shintoism, Taoism, Confucianism, Sumerian, Babylonian, Phoenician (Canaanite), Greek and Roman philosophy, Druidry and Celtic teachings, Anglo-Saxon, Germanic and Scandinavian Paganism, Wicca, Neopaganism, Shamanism and New Religious Traditions, Christianities (including Gnostic, Catholic, Protestant, Ecumenical and Orthodox traditions), Ancient Egyptian philosophy and African traditional teachings, Modern Spiritualism, Theosophy, freemasonry, Anthroposophy and New Age Teachings etc. as well as modern science and scientific philosophies. He has called for the development of a Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Religions, and argues that to come of age spiritually, mankind needs to evolve towards a new meta-Catholic-Universal position, which embraces the innermost wisdom core of each faith path known to mankind, emphasising what is common and universal between them all. This, he argues, would constitute genuine Catholicism and enable a global renaissance of intelligent spirituality to replace the current system of global politics based of fear and terrorism.
He is Director of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy – IIPSGP – (www.educationaid.net) which works across many academic fields to bring together all those with an interest in, and a commitment towards, the study and application of peace and philosophy on all levels, from personal to global, and to applying the qualities of love and wisdom to the resolution of the problems and tensions of today’s world. I.I.P.S.G.P. arose out of a feasibility study which he undertook for the convocation of the University of London (www.lon.ac.uk/) into the proposed establishment of an Institute of Peace Studies. He established with many other colleagues the current International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy as a follow through from the feasibility study. As a student at the University of London he took part in numerous debates, and studied at the School of Oriental and African Studies, Kings College, London School of Economics and Political Science, School of Slavonic and East European Studies (his home college, now part of University College London) etc.
Thomas is also the founder of The Global Green University, which has arisen from the work of IIPSGP and was launched in 1999 to bring into being a new global higher education initiative which can provide space for the deeper kind of learning which is needed at this time of critical transition in the history of planet earth. The Global Green University has come into being as a result of a Feasibility Study conducted at the University of London into establishing a new Institute of Peace Studies. After an exhaustive study of several years, in which a global survey of education for peace and human rights and social and ecological justice was undertaken, with innumerable leading educators from all over the world consulted, it was discovered that conventional academic structures are still hardly ready to embrace the radical educational agenda which it is felt necessary to help save the planet from war, violence and ecological destruction. A high percentage of official higher education funding in Britain, the USA and worldwide comes from Ministries of Defence, whose total expenditures are enormous. How then can we think through a non-violent world if our very institutions are clouded by military interests? The GGU is free of all such funding and will place research into peace studies, conflict resolution and mediation at the very core of its own research agenda. We believe that the time has come for the leading intellectuals of the planet to reclaim from the educational bureaucrats an autonomous and independent academic space for free and responsible research and study, beyond the funding constraints of the status quo and narrow minded corporate and political interests with their emphasis on short term profits at the expense of intellectual, moral and institutional integrity. The GGU runs it work as a voluntary educational charity, in which the priority the love of wisdom, and the work of individual and planetary healing. As such we are reliant on donations and tuition fees, which are scaled according to the individual circumstances of students. (See www.educationaid.net and the Global Green University Facebook page for more details)
He is also the author of the INTERNATIONAL DIRECTORY OF COMPLEMENTARY, HOLISTIC, PEACE, AND SPIRITUAL HIGHER EDUCATION which is the reference work to list all universities worldwide which include attention to holistic, transdisciplinary, philosophical and spiritual education, including alternative, complementary and free universities. This directory is intended as a guide and aid for anyone involved in higher education, either as student or teacher, and who is interested in alternative and more holistic models of learning, than offered in the sometimes arid and limited scope of conventional academic programmes which stress the specificity of their own subject orientation. It is intended to help students and staff who believe knowledge is more of a joined up continuum, and who are seeking for a deeper level of discourse, research and analysis than is offered in materialist paradigms of higher education, in which learning is broken up into mathematical quanta of “inputs and outputs” based largely on outmoded pre-20th century mathematical models. The Directory is instead concerned to highlight projects underway in Universities worldwide where there is attention being paid to the interconnectedness of knowledge across disciplinary frontiers, to new paradigms of thinking which push the boundaries in any given field of knowledge, to education which satisfies the deeper soul needs of students and teachers to be engaged in deeply meaningful areas of study and research which can benefit society at large, and which are aware of the spiritual dimension of higher education.
Thomas has developed long term educational programmes to widen understanding of the causes of conflict and approaches to peace and to assist social and cultural development. He has also created the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service. The M.M.M.S. is the first mediation service to specialise in disputes in which issues of faith and/or culture are present.
He has also served as an educational adviser to numerous organisations ranging from the UN and UNESCO to various University and other educational projects. He served as a member of the International Association of University Presidents / UN Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace from 1992 – 2010 which meets at the UN HQ in New York, and has twice addressed their meetings in the UN Headquarters (www.iaups.org/commissions.php) and has regularly tried to assist their work.
He is also a board member of The Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (HumanDHS) Network and addressed their 2005 conference in Berlin on the subject of Sophiaphobia, the fear of wisdom. He argued in this presentation that one of the root causes of the human desire to humiliate is a fear of wisdom (sophiaphobia) which lies deep inside the human psychological framework. This work was eventually published in its own right as SOPHIAPHOBIA at www.lulu.com/content/2315475. This network continues to hold meetings globally, in New York, Costa Rica, Norway etc. An interview with its founder Director, Even Lindner was published in the Muses IIPSGP Journal for 2005/6. The Director of IIPSGP serves on the International Advisory Board of the network and has teamed up with the work of Prof. Francisco Gomes de Matos of the Federal University of Pernambuco in Recife in North-Eastern Brazil, who is the author of a Universal Declaration of Linguistic Rights (1984) and For Communicative Peace (1993). Prof. De Matos has pioneered the notion of a peace linguistics over recent decades, while Thomas Daffern has published the first Multilingual dictionary of Philosophical and religious terminology at www.lulu.com/iipsgp. This work, The MULTILINGUAL DICTIONARY FOR MULTIFAITH AND MULTICULTURAL MEDIATION, PEACE AND GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY (http://www.lulu.com/content/281249) which is a research tool for all scholars and students and philosophers interested in languages and philology. It is the first ever published attempt to compile a comparative philosophical dictionary of terms for absolute concepts, which vary from culture to culture and religion to religion, of philosophically charged words such as God, Being, virtue, love, truth, beauty, power, existence, peace, knowledge, wisdom, mind, consciousness, magic, holy, spirit etc. It has a specific irenic purpose as a tool of inter-cultural understanding and reconciliation, on the proposition that through studying one another’s words and concepts and ideas in their own vocabularies, rival spiritual and ideological systems might replace intellectual hostility and feuding with study, dialogue and mutual understanding. Further details on the work of the International Association for Dignity and Humiliation Studies available from http://www.humiliationstudies.org. In February 2014, Thomas attended the Conference of the International network of Humiliation and Dignitary Studies in Oslo, Norway and presented a talk about his work as a peace educator and comparative philosophy expert.
IIPSGP itself publishes bi-annually ‘THE MUSES LOVE JOURNAL: PEACE, JUSTICE AND WISDOM’ the only academic journal in the world to focus on the academic study of love and altruism and other positive aspects of human nature. This journal is now in its 13th edition, and is divided into 9 sections, one named after each of the 9 Classical muses of antiquity, thus representing the full range of human learning and ingenuity: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, Urania. The journal is available here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-thomas-clough-daffern/the-muses-love-journal-volume-12-2015/paperback/product-22210577.html
He has lectured on all aspects of philosophy and contemporary public policy and has also convened and co-chaired over 30 seminars in the House of Lords in Westminster on various aspects of Ethics, Public Policy and Peace. From 1993- 1994 he convened and chaired the House of Lords seminar first series on “THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE: THE PHILOSOPHICAL AND EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES OF PEACE BUILDING, CONFLICT PREVENTION AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY IN THE POST COLD WAR WORLD“, attended by many leading academics, educators, NGO representatives etc. This series of meetings was hosted by the late Lord Ennals (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ennals) as the Parliamentarian sponsor for the series. In 1994 between April and July he acted as Convenor and Chair of a House Of Lords Second Seminar Series on “ETHICS, POLITICS AND ECONOMICS: GLOBAL PROBLEMS, GLOBAL POLICIES AND THE SEARCH FOR PEACE AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY” For this second series of meetings in the House of Lords he chose to focus on the relationship between ethics, politic and economics – feeling that the ethical and values perspective is usually left out of political discussion, or is seen as too divisive to permit coherent discourse. It was felt that there needed to be a neutral space at the heart of national conversations on policy which could address these deeper spiritual questions within a context of education for peace in the broadest sense. From April 1994 to July 1994 a series of 13 seminars was held, also at the House of Lords, bringing together a similar wide ranging body of academics, NGO representatives and concerned members of the public. Thomas Daffern chaired and directed all the seminars, (with Lord Ennals acting as host and overall Convenor), introducing the various speakers to the audience and summing up at the end with closing remarks. From October 1994 to March 1995 he organised and chaired a third seminar series at the House Of Lords on “ETHICS, POLITICS AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: EDUCATION FOR PEACE AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY AND THE WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT”, attended by numerous academic peace and conflict researchers, NGO representatives, educators etc. This 1994-1995 seminar series focused on the serious global problems facing the planet at this time of crisis and the political, ethical & educational resources available to solve them. In this follow up series we focused particularly on the preparations for the UNITED NATIONS WORLD SUMMIT FOR SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT in Copenhagen, March 6-12 1995. Later, in 1998 – he organised and co-chaired (with lord Macnair) a further House of Lords series (fourth series) of meetings on POLICY, ETHICS AND VALUES: ADDRESING T5HE INNER DIMENSIONS OF THE COMPLEX POLICY IOSSUES FACING BRITAIN AND THE WORLD COMMUNITY, with a series of meeting which again included thinkers, faith leaders, educators and political figures. A subsequent couple of meetings were held in the House of Commons in 2001 and 2003, under the auspices of Lembit Opik MP, Leader of Liberal Democrats in Wales, on the feasibility of establishing an All Party Group for Peace and Conflict Resolution.
Thomas helped run the Gandhi Foundation School of Nonviolence between 1993 and 1997, and chaired approximately 20 seminars and educational meetings, partly at Kingsley Hall in London and partly throughout the UK and Ireland. (See http://www.gandhifoundation.org). He continues to take an active interest in the development of the theory and practice of nonviolence and still runs the School of Nonviolence from the Castle of the Muses in Scotland, which is in touch with nonviolence experts throughout the world. He has been a regular participant in the International Conferences on Peace and Nonviolent Action, which meets in Rajasthan biannually, organised by the Anuvibha International Trust, to bring together experts and practioners in nonviolence from around the world. He attended this conference first in December 1995 as a participant and keynote speaker at 3rd International Conference on Education for Nonviolence at the Jain International University, Ladnun, Rajasthan, India and here he delivered extempore a paper entitled “40 Questions On Violence And Its Prevention Instead Of A Paper” afterwards he was invited to author the Ladnun Declaration which summed up the mind of the conference. Here Acharya Tulsi the leading Jain Terepanth spiritual guide was presiding. In 1998 on January 15‑16 he undertook a 24 hour fast and vigil for Peace at Kingsley Hall with colleagues, and organised a seminar on education and spirituality for peace, with Prof. Glen Martin of Philosophers for Peace, Iranian, Indian, Sikh, Buddhist, Christian and other religious peace activists present. In May 2001 he was an invited speaker at International Conference of Sikh Studies inaugurating a new Chair in Namdhari Sikh Studies at the Guru Nanak University, Amritsar, Punjab, India, and took the opportunity to thoroughly explore the Punjab. On December 1st 2001, following the tragic attacks on the USA, he organised and chaired a meeting at St Deiniols, Wales. the IIPSGP Conference On The Educational Implications Of September 11th which saw speakers addressing the moral and educational implications of September 11th with visitors from Scotland, USA, India, etc. Jane Goodall, the pioneer of the study of the sociability of chimpanzees spoke on the ethnological study of aggression and cooperative behaviour among primates. St Deiniols library was gifted to the nation by Prime Minister Gladstone as a permanent centre for ‘divine learning’ and has a superb library collection. At that time he was still not 100% convinced that Osama Bin Laden and Al Quaeda were acting totally alone, without any kind of support, and subsequent conspiracy theories about who might have wanted or enabled the twin towers and especially the third building, which housed many sensitive government departments and documents, to collapse so easily, pose many unanswered questions, In fact, he still feels there ought to be a retrospective International Commission of Inquiry into the origin and cause of this attack. If anything, his doubts have grown even stronger over time. In 2003 he contributed Further Questions instead of a paper for the 5th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, Rajasthan, 2003, but was unable to attend in person, due to full time teaching commitments (published in Daffern T.C. Collected Essays 1985-2005, IIPSGP Pubs, 2007). In 2005 in New Delhi, another important symposium was organised by Dr. S.L. Gandhi, convenor for IIPSGP in India, and although unable to attend in person, he again submitted a paper in absentia. He also attended the 6TH International Conference On Non-Violent Action 23-25 Dec, 2007, in Rajasamand, Rajasthan, and spoke about the need for a Philosophical basis for peace economics. He also visited Udaipur on this occasion and explored further parts of Rajasthan. On November 8th 2008 he flew again to India at the invitation of the Jains of Anuvhiba, to attend a further historic conference on peace and nonviolence in Jaipur, Rajasthan, the 7th ICPNA in Jaipur, Rajasthan, on November 10 – 14 2008. He met many leading peace educators from around the planet, including the former president of India, Dr Abdul Kalaam, who launched a book at the conference that he had co-written with Acharya Mahapragya, the leader of the Jains, with both of whom he had some interesting discussions. Thomas ran a workshop on the vision underlying the work of IIPSGP, led a peripatetic meditational walk for peace educators in the moonlight, chaired a panel discussion on peace and non-violence research, and gave a plenary address to a large audience of Jains and other peace thinkers. This event came just before the tragic killings in Bombay (Mumbai), and at the conference were several delegates from Bombay itself. Thomas suggested that in view of the ongoing problems of conflict in the Indian subcontinent, that there should be established an Indian Union Mediation Service, copying the idea he had proposed for the European Union Mediation Service, not realising that with the killings shortly coming in Bombay, the idea would be even more relevant than ever. In 2011 Thomas was awarded the Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace in 2011 and was invited once more back to India to receive it in person at Jaipur from the Chief Minister of Rajasthan. In 2014 Thomas visited Jaipur, India, to attend the 6th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, and drafted the final declaration of this gathering of over 200 senior educators, and spiritual peace activists from around India and throughout the planet, which has been published as the Jaipur Declaration. Among the speakers and panel chairpersons were the following: Katsuya Kodama (Japan), Dr Akash Ouchi (Japan), Doboom Tulku (Tibet / India), Muzzamil Cader (Sri Lanka), Dayanand Bhargava (India), Jonah Saifer (USA), Susan Seats (USA), Pamela Pasqualina Geagan (USA), Rev. M.D. Thomas (India), Vijay Mehta (UK), Ms Mayumi Mezaki (Japan), Graham Peebles (UK), Bharti Jain (India), Maurizio Fabbri (Italy), Samantha Lynne Gupta (USA), Anil Dhar (India), Shivani Bothra (India), Sanchay Jain (India), Mano Mettanado Laokavinich (Thailand), Ignatius Xavier (India), Gulab Kothari (India), Vidya Jain (India), Michael Ben Eli (USA), Hema Pokharna (Nepal), myself, plus many Jain monks and nuns. The new Governor of Rajasthan also addressed our meeting. This event, the 8th International Conference on Peace and Non-Violent Action, lasted from 5-8 January 2014 and took place partly in Jaipur, then partly in Bikaner, a town in the desert regions of Rajasthan This event was hosted by the International Jain Anuvrat movement (Anuvibha) founded by Acharya Tulsi. Thomas wrote up the Jaipur Declaration following the conference consisting of a 9 petalled Flower of Peace, a declaration in 10 parts, summing up the findings of the conference. This was later published in Towards a Nonviolent future: Seeking realistic models of peaceful co-existence and sustainability (Anuvrat Global Organisation, Jaipur, 2015) as well as in The Nine Petalled Flower of Peace: footnotes to the Jaipur Declaration (IIPSGP Publications, 2014, available here http://www.lulu.com/shop/thomas-clough-daffern/the-9-petalled-flower-of-peace-footnotes-to-the-jaipur-declaration/paperback/product-21575558.html)
The Declaration reads as follows:
THE JAIPUR DECLARATION,
“The 9 Petalled Flower Of Peace”
EXPLANATORY INTRODUCTION: This declaration has arisen out the recent conference in Jaipur, Rajasthan, India, hosted by the Anuvibha Jain organisation, in which eminent educators and peace activists from across the world, and from India, were invited to come together and discuss models for a peaceful, nonviolent and sustainable world society. After several days of discussion, the following Declaration sums up the fruits of our deliberations, and is couched in the form of the Anuvrat concept of small vows (anuvrat), to be undertaken by non-specialist religious practitioners, who want to help mankind advance to a more peaceful path. The declaration consists of a number of “small vows” which are realistic and feasible, and which apply to the many areas of life we discussed at the conference, and in which human beings are experiencing violence and suffering at the present time. Not all of us could hope to adhere to all these vows, and some of them are really quite large in their implications. We issue them as a kind of guidepost to how we might achieve a peaceful and nonviolent world, and how each of us, in our own sphere of activity, can play our part. Everyone is welcome to make use of this Jaipur Declaration in their own geographical or spiritual community, and to add in clauses or additional small vows which you find appropriate. Those of us attending this conference came from Jain, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Islamic, Jewish, Secular, Humanist, Gandhian, Druid, New Age, Bahai, Shinto, and many other spiritual and intellectual paths, as well as from many countries, languages, and regions of the world, and also from many different professional backgrounds. The Declaration is conceived as a flower with 9 petals and a central area (floral axis). Each petal concerns a particular area of importance that needs working on, as we see it. We invite your collaboration with this project. Together, we can share the fragrance of the 9 Petalled Flower of Peace and transform the violence that the planet is experiencing, into a passing phase, ushering in a deeper era of peace and enlightened wisdom. We hope children and artists can draw and paint on walls, murals and websites all around the world, this 9 petalled Flower of Peace and get our message of hope out into circulation far and wide.
PETAL 1. HEALING: We vow to abstain from actions and habits causing ill health or illness to ourselves or others. We vow to adopt a healthy diet and lifestyle. We vow to use our medical knowledge to help alleviate suffering and illness. We vow to research all health regimens and medicines that assist healing. We vow to understand the spiritual bases of health and well being. We vow to help find healing for those suffering from mental illness. We vow to abstain from medical research that harms patients or animals. We vow to explore complementary and preventative medical models for healing that involve treating the whole person, in a peaceful and nonviolent way, and take account of the complex emotional, psychological and spiritual needs of the patient.
PETAL 2. POLITICS: We vow to abstain from corrupt political practices; we vow to tell the truth in all our political dealings. We vow to work for the well being of all society, local, regional, national and international. We vow to find the best practices for peace inherent in any political system – democracy, aristocracy, monarchy, ecological politics, world federalism etc. and to find ways for all of them to work towards planetary political well-being, global justice and peace; we vow to abstain from all violence of thought word or deed to advance our political goals; we vow to search out a global politics of enlightenment.
PETAL 3. PHILOSOPHY: We vow to work to synthesise, reconcile and appreciate the best aspects of all philosophical schools of all ages and peoples. We vow to abstain from negative criticism, attacking or denigrating other’s thinking or philosophical systems and to instead seek to draw out the seeds of enlightenment embedded within them all; we vow to practice the love of wisdom in humility and faith and energy and commitment. We vow to abstain from the fear of wisdom (sophiaphobia) and to accept the duties that true philosophy inculcates on her devotees.
PETAL 4. EDUCATION: We vow as teachers and students to seek to advance our highest possible knowledge and enlightenment in a cooperative truth seeking spirit; we vow to abstain from violence in all educational settings, including rudeness, bullying, abuse, verbal violence, subtle manipulation, humiliation and corrupt misuse of power, or undermining (of either pupils or teachers). We vow to actualize the highest educational potential within us all. We vow to help advance towards a world which spends more energy and funds on education than on militarism and defence. We vow to include peace education in all schools, colleges, universities. We vow to develop appropriate curriculum models for planetary enlightenment including global values and spirituality, truth, nonviolence, cooperation and emotional wisdom and love. We vow to favour the arts in education (music, fine art, dance, poetry, drama, literature) as much as scientific and technological education, recognizing that all human beings have aesthetic needs stemming from our spiritual natures. We vow to include playfulness, humour, kindness, and emotional wisdom in our teaching and learning experiences. We vow to de-emphasise competitiveness as the sole criteria for educational excellence, and instead to honour cooperation, group activity, citizenship skills, communication, empathy and social responsibility as part of true education. We vow to work to include spiritual, ethical, moral, philosophical and religious knowledge as an important part of educational provision in all contexts, and that the idea of value free knowledge is logical impossibility.
PETAL 5. SCIENCE AND ECOLOGY: We vow to abstain from scientific research based on violent experimentation against animals or humans; we vow to acquire and use our scientific knowledge to help advance human well-being, happiness and moral intelligence, and to free mankind from the threats and fear of violence. We vow to develop social and natural sciences conducive towards a planetary civilisation capable of peace; we vow to end the huge expenditures on scientific research for military weapons and defence, and to see instead a shift of expenditures towards socially beneficial sciences for social and ecological development in a world based on peace and nonviolence. We vow to work for a world in which all universities have more funding available for peace orientated scientific research, than for military oriented scientific research. We vow to assist the development of a career path for science graduates who wish to abstain from all military and defence related scientific employment and who choose instead to take a vow of scientific non-violence. We vow to not harm or pollute nature and to abstain from all acts of violence against Mother Earth and to develop green, sustainable and non-invasive technologies that can work in harmony with natural environmental systems. We vow to develop alternative sources of energy that are non-polluting and non-harmful to nature. We vow to refrain from activities which destabilise weather systems. We vow to refrain from cruelty to animals. We vow to use our scientific knowledge to work for harmony and peace between humanity and nature.
PETAL 6. BUSINESS, WORK, ECONOMICS: We vow to abstain from economic violence, exploitation and oppression against others (and ourselves); we vow to work towards a world where everyone has enough for their need but not for their greed; we vow to work, in whatever our professional capacities, whether as lawyers, judges, teachers, architects, civil servants, bankers, financial experts, in retail, management, business, agriculture, tourism, the arts, IT, communication, media, industry etc. in a way that is without violence to our fellow man or to the environment and to nature or to the Divine Reality, in a way in which our work is conducted with integrity and honesty, and which serves the well-being and happiness of society as a whole; we vow to help use our professional careers as service vehicles for planetary enlightenment, and to factor in the ethical side of our professional practice at all stages of our careers, so that we can see the contribution to peace that we are individually and collectively making. We vow to help assist the development of a green economics in which wealth is understood as the fruit of natural systems plus human ingenuity, to be shared peacefully and morally by us all. We vow to abstain from all criminal economic activities which denigrate, destabilise and destroy human culture and happiness.
PETAL 7. MEDIA: We vow to produce and consume responsible media that shares the good news of the human story as well as the bad news; we vow not to produce or consume media that discourages, disheartens, misinforms or de-energises people, but to seek out news that inspires, enthuses and informs people, giving them hope in the possibility of a better world; we vow to abstain from disseminating media stories based on lies, falsity, half-truths, we vow to tell stories from all sides; we vow to report peace as much as war, good news of peace events and breakthroughs as much as wars and terrorism; we recognize the power of the media to co-create reality, to use this power responsibly, we vow to develop a peace media that can encourage the transformation of the world into a place of peace and nonviolence. We vow to abstain from the production or consumption of violent films, computer games and “entertainment” which give the message that violence and war are natural and normal and “good” and instead vow to help the film and media industry generate positive films and computer games that promote peaceful, creative and non-violent human relations.
PETAL 8. FAMILY AND GENDER: We vow to abstain from violence in the family and in all gender based relations; we vow to celebrate the beauty and magical of sexuality and to engage only in lawful, non-violent, loving and sublime sexual experiences, and to abstain totally from all sexual violence, include rape, violation, exploitation or sexual abuse of any kind; we vow to build loving and faithful families and marriages in which children can feel secure, loved and appreciated. We vow to try and understand the mysterious power of love in our personal and social lives. We vow to take parenting seriously and to strive to be good parents to our children. We vow also to take childhood seriously, and to strive to be loving, dutiful and caring children, honouring our parents in return for all their kindness. We vow to abstain from all family violence of thought, word and deed and to develop our families as safe spaces in which to cultivate enlightenment in the real world; we vow to develop models of social security systems in which there is greater benefit in remaining in marriages and families than in being single parents; we vow to appreciate our family members, as fathers, mothers, children, brothers, sisters, relatives, as precious gifts for our mutual enlightenment. We vow to abstain from all family bullying or domestic violence. We vow also to honour those religious who choose the path of celibacy and to devote their lives to the wider family of humanity – for they too are part of the great family of mankind.
PETAL 9. RELIGION: We vow to work for the healing, reconciliation and mutual understanding of all religious and spiritual disciplines; we vow to work for a world of inter-religious and intra-religious peace, where religious violence becomes unthinkable and incomprehensible; we vow to work to help religions mediate their differences by forming peace teams of mediation practitioners from their ranks committed to ahimsa and nonviolence in action; we vow to help everyone to focus on common core spiritual values and practices rather than focusing on differences and trivial contingent peripheralities; as religious practitioners we vow to abstain from all religious violence of thought, word or deed including preaching of hate or hate crimes; we vow instead to pray for the divine mercy to come upon mankind and to realize the best and brightest dreams of all the prophets and sages and saints; we vow to help reopen the Golden Gate in Jerusalem and usher in an era of interfaith peace; we vow to abstain from all religious corruption or misdeeds or abuses of power, and instead to focus on prayer, meditation, deeds of charity, study, teaching and good examples of peace, nonviolence and spiritual wisdom that can turn the sufferings of mankind into joy, wisdom and enlightenment.
FLORAL AXIS 10. PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE: We vow to work for the transformation of all military forces worldwide into minimalised non-offensive defence forces. We vow to transform all military intelligence forces worldwide into peace gathering and conflict resolution services. We vow to transform all police forces and security services into violence prevention patrols and neighbourhood self-esteem community outreach workers. We vow to transform our prisons into moral re-education centres where prisoners are taught the tools for personal ethical transformation and where restorative justice replaces punishment or retribution; we vow to enable military engineers and scientists worldwide to change their career paths to high-tech peace related industries. We vow to shift budgetary expenditures of military forces worldwide towards sustainable development expenditure for a peaceful world. We vow to enable military forces to train up brigades of environmental forces equipped to handle environmental disasters such as the Fukushima disaster. We vow to remove nuclear weapons from planet earth and to explore non-nuclear sources of energy so that we can remove nuclear power as a necessary source of power worldwide. We vow to transform the world from a conflict ridden, over militarized planet, into one in which tiny defence forces operate largely as peace education reminder remnants, with military museums showing the tragedies of world wars and in which our military bases are transformed into centres for non-violence training and conflict resolution skill sharing and cultural and artistic workshops and areas of productive and creative activity. We vow to work for a world in which military conscription is replaced by social civilian services in which young people give their time for socially beneficial activities for a couple of years instead.
Document scribed by Dr Thomas Clough Daffern, January, 2014)
Later on in 2014, on September 24, Thomas was invited back to India to take part in a centenary Celebration Conferfence for Acharya Tulsi. The conference was an important gathering in honour of Acharya Tulsi, the Jain sage whom he had met way back in 1995 and this was the 100th anniversary of his birth. Eminent scholars and peace educators from all around the planet, and right across Indin, had all been invited, and many Jain sages, and monks and nuns were also there in person. The conference took place in New Delhi, and during the course of 3 days there was a fascinating array of talks and presentations from a large number of Indian and international delegates. The theme of the Conference was the continuing relevance of Nonviolence (Ahimsa) in today’s complex world. Speakers included: The Austrian Ambassador to India, who spoke movingly about his deep respect for Indian culture and spirituality and nonviolence, Tine Vekemans who spoke about her work teaching religious studies and Jainism at the University of Ghent in Belgium; Prof Peter Flugel who spoke about his many years of Jain studies, and his work as Director of the Centre for Jain Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London. Prof Eugene Ciurtin, of the Institute for the History of Religions in Bucharest University, gave us an intellectually scintillating overview of religious studies and the place of Jain Studies within the wider forest of academic work. There was also a talk from the profound Jain scholar and monk, Prof Muni Mahendra Kumar, from the Jain University in Ladnun, as well as from Dr Rudi Jansma, a Dutch scholar of Jainism and Indian religions and theosophy. Other speakers included the Columbian Ambassador to India, Jorge Cardenas, Dr Muhammad Muzzamil Cader from Kandy in Sri Lanka, a Muslim active in interfaith work and supportive of the Commonwealth Interfaith Network. From Russia came Prof Natalia Zheleznova, and from Switzerland Dr Christoph Stuckelberger, who spoke about global ethics. From Turkey came Bircan Unver, from Germany Christian and Carla Geerdes, from Belgium Chris De Lauwer, from the USA Bernie Meyer, from Italy Claudia Pastorino, from Korea Prof Jinwol Young Ho Lee, and from Czech Republic, Josef Bartosek. It was a feast for the mind and the soul.
After the Conference in Delhi was over, Thomas arranged to journey down to Rasjathan, to spend time at the Jain University of Ladnun, which had been founded by Acharya Tulsi himself, back in 1991. A few days intensive study in the library in peace and solitude ensued.
Thomas then took part in a special symposium in Delhi looking at the Jain contributions to the history of the sciences and mathematics over the millennia. The event took place again at the Bhikshu Auditorium, Adhyatma Sadhana Kendra, Maharauli, New Delhi, and was organised under the auspices of the Centre for Scientific Research and Social Innovative Studies, of the Jain University in Ladnun. The Vice Chancellor of the University, Samani Chaitanya Prajna, was herself co-chairing the event. The new leader of the Terepanth Jains, Acharya Shree Mahashraman also addressed the opening session. There followed a range of brilliant papers about all aspects of the overlap between Jain philosophy and the natural and mathematical sciences. We learned about neuroscience and karma from the indefatigable Prof Muni Mahendra Kumar, about Mind, brain and Consciousness from Sanchetee, Mishra and Jansma; about Syadvada, Anekantvada and Modern Science from Bhandari and Pokharna; and about the enigma of time from Dr A Prasanna; Dr Rudi Jansma talked also about the evolution and development of life in Jainism in modern science (which was partly based on his own doctoral thesis, which was later published in two volumes as “Global Philosophical and Ecological Concepts: Cycles, causality, ecology and evolution in various traditions and their impact on modern Biology” (Motilal Barnasidass, Delhi, 2010); we then had a paper on Jain Biological concepts and modern science from Dr G.C. Jain and Dr Suchita Jain. In total, some 33 papers were delivered over the course of the two days intensive seminar. They covered the Jain contributions and equivalent thought patterns to all kinds of topics on modern science including: ecology, cosmology, geography, environmental protection, genetical studies, mathematics, meditation, consciousness studies, yoga, non-violence, relativity theory, general systems theory, quantum physics, epistemology and cognition, and so on.
Thomas also later on the same trip gave a lecture at the University of Rajasthan on a Critical Survey of Nonviolence Studies – Towards a Philosophical Analysis. in which he asked some critical questions about the limits and nature of non-violence, and what we can do to advance a world of greater peace and security. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Rajasthan kindly came to start the seminar, which was chaired by Dr Vinaya Jain, who coordinates the Nonviolence Commission for the International Peace Research Association. The lecture took place at the Centre for Gandhian Studies which Dr Vinaya Jain directs at the University of Rajasthan. It is a vibrant hub of intellectual activity, and she has the excellent support of a network of scholars from other departments and faculties, such as sociology and anthropology, in her important work to place the study of non-violence on the map of Rajasthan. Other speaks that day were Dr Gulab Kothari, the editor of the Rajasthan Patrika, Rajasthan’s largest circulation newspaper (who came to the Castle of the Muses back in 2011) and Dr S.L Gandhi, the indefatigable organiser of the International Anuvrat organisation ANUVIBHA.
He also took the opportunity to visit parts of India he had not yet visited, including – Agra (Agra Fort); Varanasi / Benares; Sarnath; Nalanda, Patna, (The Khoda Baksh Library, Patna Museum), Nalanda (the great ruined Buddhist University), Calcutta (the Asiatic Society, The Tagore Red House, Victoria Memorial Palace, St Pauls Cathedral, the National Library of India) and in Delhi, the famous Red Fort which was the centre of Mughal India.
In January 2015 Thomas was again invited to India to take part in the Grand Global Peace Meet organised by the Sri Ramanuja Memorial trust, as an envoy from the International Peace Bureau, based in Geneva. There followed a series of memorable meetings in Bangalore and Hyderabad, during which many interesting exchanges were held between global thinkers and philosophers from all traditions. Since three key figures from the International Philosophers for Peace and the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide were present (Daffern, Chumakov and Martin) a declaration was issued, authored by Daffern, calling for intellectual reconciliation between warring ideologies and religions on the planet, as follows:
HYDERABAD DECLARATION OF INTERNATIONAL PHILOSOPHERS FOR PEACE AND THE PREVENTION OF NUCLEAR OMNICIDE
Meeting in India, under the aegis of the Grand Global Peace Meet, as International Philosophers for Peace from Europe, Russia and the Americas, we have determined to call our philosophical colleagues and the general public around the world to the witness of IPPNO to the possibility of peace through dialogue and rational research.
We urge our philosophical colleagues in all cultures, religions and geographical and national and linguistic contexts, to bear witness to the possibility of a peaceful human culture and civilisation based on reason and the love of wisdom, and to use education, research, arbitration, mediation and scholarship to resolve disputes rather than force and violence.
We are mindful of the current conflicts going on worldwide which involve loss of life, whether in civil conflicts, or ongoing terrorist incidents such as the recent shooting of satirical journalists in Paris, the murder of schoolchildren in Pakistan and Nigeria and beheadings and fighting in Syria and Iraq and all such like events. We ask that all responsible intellectuals worldwide show leadership in isolating and exposing the intellectual flaws in all ideologies that propose violence as an appropriate strategy for resolving ideological and religious differences. Each religious tradition on the planet ultimately recognises that the powers of reason, enlightenment and love have sovereignty over those of violent rhetoric, forceful persuasion and coercive intimidation. Instead of using terror to bully and frighten other believers, we urge that common dialogues take place involving evidence, logic, reason and the submission of ultimate truth claims to the test of philosophical analysis.
We urge our fellow human beings to choose to live in a world where study, research, learning, respect for wisdom, democratic laws, and love of truth replace the egocentric promotion of one’s own cultural values and epistemic absolutisms.
We urge each culture, nation and region of earth to recognise, value and appreciate its own and others’ philosophical systems and teachings. We urge that philosophical education be included in both secondary and tertiary educational curricula, as being conducive to creating future generation who value morality and philosophical wisdom as much as techne and know-how. We commend UNESCO’s recommendations on philosophical education.
Cultures of philosophy have arisen in difficult times in man’s past: the golden age of Greek philosophical enlightenment arose in the midst of wars; the Confucian and Taoist sages arose during the era of Warring States; Hindu, Buddhist and Jain enlightenment teachings have arisen against a backdrop of continual wars and conflicts. The great philosophical achievements of Jewish, Christian and Islamic thought have likewise carried on in spite of a backdrop of warfare and violence.The European enlightenment was born out of a continent sick of bloodshed, and the 30 years’ war, in which thinkers and philosophers articulated the ideals of universal and perpetual peace as a prospect for man’s historical progression from barbarism to a society based on the exercise of civic reason.
After the tragedies of World War One and World War Two, the globe is still bedevilled by international, intercultural and interreligious conflicts and violence. As officers of International Philosophers for Peace (IPPNO) we are issuing a call for our philosophical colleagues in Syria, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Ukraine and Russia, Afghanistan, and Kashmir, to come together in a spirit of intense inquiry towards truth, and to submit the rival claims of political factions, religious perspectives, and social movements, to the court of reason. We believe it is possible that the disputes effecting these countries and territories can be analysed, rationally and historically, and that in all conflicts there needs to be a recommitment to moderation, the rule of just law, compromise and intellectual humility. By intensive education in the causes and consequences of such conflicts, by requiring religious and political leaders to themselves submit to educational processes, by conducting intensive training work in non-violent communication and dialogue, and by applying good will and imaginal intelligence we strongly believe these conflicts can be resolved harmoniously.
International Philosophers for Peace pledges to work with any and all philosophical colleagues, factions, traditions, lineages and instruments, in order to replace ongoing violence and conflict with philosophical dialogue, dialectic, respect for law, and intellectual discourse. Instead of firing bullets, let us fire off pamphlets, instead of dropping bombs, let us drop bombshells of reason, instead of sending torpedoes, let us issue wholesale barrages of enlightenment and love against all who say that violence is the answer, and that war and terror and unreason are the new deities who should now be worshipped. Let us find new structural political solutions to the problems of the world, such as by strengthening the UN and by exploring alternatives such as the worldwideConstitution for the Federation of Earth (www.earth-constitution.org). Earth’s problems are interconnected (human rights, environment, poverty, militarism, lawlessness, religious fanaticism, corruption, violence) therefore we need joined-up solutions that can address these problems holistically.
We denounce the idolatry of violence, even if masked by a veil of pseudo-piety. We denounce all who invoke the name of the Sublime as a justification for acts of grotesque cruelty and barbarism, and we insist instead that mankind learn to worship again with an actually justifiable piety in a way in which both reason and faith can be reconciled, and in which our humanity, our doubts, our hesitancies, are not seen as evidence of spiritual weakness, but rather, in the Socratic sense, as evidence of spiritual strength.
Concretely, we call on the educational authorities in all regions to include deeper philosophical and ethical content in their curriculums. Let children and young minds be adorned and beautified by their initiation into the great philosophical heritage of mankind, across all cultural, linguistic and spiritual traditions. The 9 petalled flower of peace can only arise once such seeds of wisdom are implanted early in the mind of today’s youth, so that tomorrow’s elders shall not weep in sorrow as they patrol the graves of the as yet unborn.
We recognise that philosophy, as the love of wisdom, manifests in many spheres of knowledge and action, including political philosophy, social philosophy, economic, environmental, legal, aesthetic, psychological, historical, religious and scientific philosophy. We encourage all who work in these diverse branches of philosophy to consider how their work can best contribute to the advancement of a world of peace. Philosophy itself has many sub-divisions, such as metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, logic, ethics, phenomenology, etc. and we encourage all who work in these interconnected fields of philosophical knowledge to consider how their work can best advance the case of peace.
Likewise, to the many social scientists, experts and researchers working in branches of peace studies and conflict research, investigating fields such as conflict resolution, conflict analysis, non-violence, peace research etc. we urge that they also include the philosophical dimensions and implications of their research, and make the fruits and findings of their pioneering research available to the general educated public in ways they can make use of.
For philosophy is too important to be left simply to the philosophers: artists, musicians, poets, writers, teachers, cultural figures, politicians, photographers, film-makers, novelists, scientists, web-designers, technological innovators, inventors, home-makers, parents, students, psychotherapists, medical doctors, economists, business leaders, law-makers, educators, social scientists, teachers, engineers, dancers, satirists, comedians, celebrities…all have a role to play in co-creating a world in which the love of wisdom is valued, and philosophical reason, enlightenment, subtlety of mind and intellectual power, and beauty of spiritual attainments, are esteemed and appreciated more than sheer strength or power, might, violence and killing force. As representatives of International Philosophers for Peace therefore we pledge to collaborate with all groups, NGO’s,and agencies that will cooperate with us in advancing the application of philosophical and dialectical intelligence to the civic and social violence currently affecting the planet in numerous regions.
We also remind colleagues that IPPNO was founded in 1983 at a time in recent history when a third world nuclear war seemed a not impossible prospect to many minds, and IPPNO played an important role in defusing tensions by arranging pioneering East-West philosophical intellectual diplomacy that helped end the cold war in Europe in 1990. But we remind colleagues that nuclear weapons remain a scourge on the planet, and are proliferating, and remain a threat to the long term security of humanity through accidental, environmental and medical negative impacts as long as they remain in military arsenals around the world as a weapon of last resort. We also remind our colleagues that the IPPNO Document on World Peace, produced by the International Advisory Board in 2001, remains a profoundly valid declaration of the fundamental lineaments of world peace (www.philosophersforpeace.org).We commend the current work of international legal bodies to strengthen the existing findings of the International Court of Justice that nuclear weapons are essentially illegal under international law, and we urge all nations worldwide without exception to significantly reduce their nuclear arsenals simultaneously by a general and universal commitment to nuclear disarmament involving all possessor nations without exception. This will free up financial resources for peacemaking.
Finally, we also urge all philosophers, at whatever level of their professional development, whether serving in education, academia or research contexts, to affiliate their work with that of International Philosophers for Peace and to join our organisation in its efforts to concentrate minds on the serious task of articulating and devising a comprehensive philosophical approach to conflict resolution, mediation, reconciliation and peace worldwide.
Co-Signed: Dr Thomas Clough Daffern (International Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace, UK); Prof. Alexander Chumakov (Russian Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace, Moscow, Russia); Prof Glen T Martin (International President, International Philosophers for Peace, USA)
A further Declaration was issued by the Grand Global Peace meet itself as the collective expression of the will-to-Peace of the assembled delegates, coming from many countries worldwide. Swami Chaturvedi, an eloquent philosopher in the tradition of Ramanuja, spoke movingly about the need to collaborate and work together for peace at once social, political, economic, intellectual, psychological, scientific, metaphysical and spiritual. http://www.sriramanujamissiontrust.info/
Inspired by the event, Thomas returned to the UK and over several weeks of intensive reflection, wrote up the INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY which is the first Interfaith Peace Treaty per se in the history of the world. This visionary project aims to get the world’s leading intellectuals, faith leaders, philosophers, artists and cultural leaders to sign up a philosophically oriented peace treaty, in which they pledge not to harm, injure, attack or kill each other’s representatives and traditions, and to honour and appreciate the many richly nuanced shades of interpretation that different intellectuals have come up with about the ultimate reality that underpins existence. It is a unique and pioneering project. During the course of the Summer in 2015 a website was created for it, and it is now on line at: https://interfaithpeacetreaty.wordpress.com. The intention is for many different translations to be made and already it is available in Italian, Hindi and other languages are in preparation (Arabic, Hebrew, German, Russian, French). Volunteer translators are requested to contact IIPSGP to help with this important project. With the further increase of fighting in Syria later in 2015 and terrorist incidents in Europe and continuing mass chaos coming from the unresolved Syria civil war, and the intervention of Russia, it is now more important than ever to advance knowledge and awareness of the existence of this Interfaith Peace treaty, which is the only instrument of its kind to address this dimension of spiritual and intellectual peacemaking.
Thomas has pursued the study of Indology, particularly Indian religions, philosophies and languages, with perspicacity and dedication, ever since resigning from Bristol University philosophy Department at the age of 20 after a Humean lecturer stated that “Buddhism is not a philosophy”. He has since been to India many times, starting first in 1993, August when he attended as a participant in the Bangalore Conference Centenary Celebrations Of 1893 Parliament Of World Religions, Bangalore, India, organised by the International Coordinating Committee of Interfaith Organisations. He also visited numerous ashrams including Tiruvanamalai, Auroville, the Gandhi Ashram in Delhi, the Nehru Museum and the Sai Baba ashram in Whitefield, near Bangalore. Since then he has returned to India some 8 times.
The following recounts some of his expertise in the area of indological research:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE BUDDHIST RELIGIOUS TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Buddhist philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7)
Detailed study of Buddhist scriptures, texts, philosophy (all schools) in Canada 1977-1981
Study of Buddhist historiography as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988
Detailed study of Buddhism in Russia and the history of esoteric Buddhism (Theosophy and neo-theosophy) and talks on this subject given at various venues (Theosophical Society); publication of several essays on different aspects of Buddhist studies. Gave talk on nature of enlightenment to Buddhist Conference at SOAS, later published as “Enlightenments” about the comparative epistemology of enlightenment across difference spiritual traditions.
|194||Enlightenments: Towards A comparative analysis of the philosophies of enlightenment in Buddhist, Eastern and Western thought and the search for a holistic enlightenment suitable for the contemporary world||A paper prepared for the University of London SOAS Symposium on Buddhist Ecology, February 2005, co-sponsored by Dongguk University, Korea|
|192||An Encyclopaedia of Transpersonal Thought and History 1945-2002
|A comprehensive a-z of who’s who in transpersonal thought from 1945-2001 (appendix to PhD) including many leading Buddhist thinkers active in this time frame|
TEACHING: Teaching classes on Buddhism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Buddhism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Buddhism for University of Oxford 1997-2000
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Includes teaching Buddhist studies in schools in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, and Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex 2001-2012; participating in a conference at SOAS on Buddhism and Ecology and delivering a paper on Enlightenments: Towards A Comparative Epistemology Of The Enlightenment Experience (March 2005); ran Meditation Study Group at Sherwood Hall School, Nottinghamshire. Teaching classes on Buddhist philosophy in Scotland 2010-now.
VISITS: Regular visitor to Samye Ling, Tibetan Buddhist community in Scotland
Invited speaker to Holy Island, retreat centre of Samye Ling, Isle of Arran, Scotland, 1998
Dharamsala, India, conversing with senior students and colleagues of the Dalai Lama, 1993
Lama Gangchen Sangha, Italy and Devon 1999-2000
Visited Adyar, world headquarters of Theosophical Society, India in 1993 and in 2015
Occasional study visits to: Chithurst Buddhist Monastery (Sussex), Sharpham Buddhist College, Amaravati Buddhist Monastery (Herts.), Wimbledon Thai Buddhist Temple; Battersea Peace Pagoda for Interfaith Peace ceremony; Bradford on Avon Sangha community. Visited Sarnath (2014) and Nalanda (2014).
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued large library of Buddhist texts, translations, scholarly works, covering all schools
User of many libraries with Buddhist collections: SOAS, India Office, Theosophical Society, British Library, National Library of Wales, Dharamsala Library of Tibetan Works and Archives, As Trustee, International Sacred Literature Trust, helped publish “Words of My Perfect Teacher”. Long time user of the Buddhist Society Library and member of the Buddhist Society.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Took Tibetan Vajrayana Tantric Buddhist Bodhisattva initiation 1976 (aged 19); founder member of Manjushri Institute, Ulverston, Cumbria (aged 20) and lived there for several months in 1977; Member of the Buddhist Society from 1982-present. Daily practitioner of Buddhist meditation (all schools) 1976-present. Member of Buddhist Peace Fellowship (later changed to Network of Engaged Buddhists) and entrusted with their banner by David Arnott; Invited to help mediate conflict between various wings of Tibetan Buddhism in 1998 – (ongoing); participant and speaker in various conferences organised by neo-Buddhist community of Theosophical Society and Arcane School
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Inspired by personal students of Chogyam Trungpa and Dalai Lama to take up Buddhist studies; met Sangharatshita founder of Western Buddhist order in 1976; through Buddhist Society met numerous Buddhist practitioners, including Christmas Humphreys; invited to serve as Secretary General of WCRP by Buddhist representative on the UK Committee (David Arnott); during participation in World Conference on Religion and Peace Congress in Italy, (1995) met 200 leading Buddhist peace activists (including head of Buddhist community in Russia, Sulak Sivaraksha from Thailand who founded the Network of Engaged Buddhists etc.); Member and participant in SOAS Centre for Buddhist Studies with Piatagorsky; participant in academic network for Buddhist Studies; worked as mediation expert with Lama Gangchen and his Sangha and friends with many other Buddhist practitioners and Buddhist scholars worldwide.
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE HINDU RELIGIOUS TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Hindu philosophy while student at Bristol University 1975/6
Undertook detailed study of Hindu sacred scriptures and philosophy in Canada 1977-81
Continued with study of Hindu thought in London from 1981, and as part of degree 1985/8
Detailed study of Indian political and religious thought and reform including: Aurobindo, Gandhi, Tagore, role of theosophical movement in Indian independence, history of Indian independence movement; history of Gandhian influence on world peace movement and non-violence; study of Sanskrit (including some formal classes) and compiling Sanskrit section of Dictionary of Global Philosophy (which also includes Tamil, Hindi); study of Indian poetics, literature, art and liturgy; Hindu teachings on architecture (vastu vidya), medicine, astrology, cosmology; history, mythology. Publication of several essays on different aspects of Hindu and Gandhian studies. Studied and practiced yoga at intervals from 1976-2012; mainly practice Jnana Yoga and Tantra Yoga.
|1.||Gandhi and Religious Peacemakers in the 20th century: a Historical survey 1995||Published On 125th Anniversary Of Mahatma Gandhi’s Birth, In India|
|192||An Encyclopaedia of Transpersonal Thought and History 1945-2002
|A comprehensive a-z of who’s who in transpersonal thought from 1945-2001 (appendix to PhD) including many leading Hindu thinkers active in this time frame|
Taught classes on Hinduism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Taught classes on Hinduism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Taught classes on Hinduism for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Organised School of Nonviolence for Gandhi Foundation 1994-1998 (chairing many meetings, lectures, planning courses, programmes, publishing newsletters, writing articles, correspondence etc.)
Extensive teaching of Hinduism at secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire, Sussex. (2001 – 2011); running a prayer and meditation group at Sherwood Hall School including on all aspects of Hinduism, including Hindu philosophy, practice, rituals, temples, puja, yoga and metaphysics; continuing with practice and teaching of yoga and meditation. Led Seminar on Indian peacemaking traditions at Oxford University Centre for Hindu Studies, February 2009 available here: http://www.ochs.org.uk/lectures/by-name-sorter/Dr%20Thomas%20Daffern
Visited India in 1993: Madras, Delhi, Agra, Bangalore, Tirvunamalai (ashram of Ramana Maharshi); ashram of Sai Baba (Whitefields); Pondicherry (ashram of Aurobindo) and Auroville; travelled by train across India several times and met many people, many seekers; went to Nehru Museum; place of Gandhi’s assassination; visited many ancient Indian temples in North and South India; Revisited India in 1995: Delhi, Rajasthan (Jaipur) Punjab, Himalayas; revisited India in 2001, Delhi and Punjab (to attend academic congress); invited visitor to Bhaktivedanta Temple, Herts – assisted them with their campaign re. road access in Parliament; visited London Hindu Temple in Neasden with students from WEA class in Finchley 1997. Lived in ashram run by Order of Saraswati, founded originally by Shankaracharya in the 9th century AD, based in Powys, Wales, from 2000-2003. Revisited India to attend Jain Peace Education Conference in Udaipur and Rajasamand, in December 2007. Revisited India in November 2008 to LEA workshop at Jaipur Peace Congress organized by Jains, meeting former President of India and many senior Hindus, Jain, and other Indian educators for peace. Visited again in May 2011 to receive the Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace, for services to philosophical and peace studies (awarded by Governor of Rajasthan). Visits on study pilgrimages to Varanasi (2014), Patna (2014); Varanasi (2014), Calcutta (2014). Visit to South India (2015) to meet with Sri Ramanuja Mission Trust and participate in the Grand Global Peace Meet, with Swami Chaturvedi, Hindu Philosopher in the lineage of Ramanuja.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library of Hindu scriptures, texts, commentaries, very wide reading in all aspects of Hindu theology and spirituality and religious practices; familiarity with libraries with large collections on Hinduism including: British Library, SOAS, Theosophical Society, plus frequenter of bookshops throughout India (e.g. Motilal Barnasidas in Delhi). Study visits to Hindu Benares University (Varanasi), Theosophical Society Library, Adyar (2015), National Library of India, Calcutta (2014),
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Began to practice yoga with formal classes in 1976 then continuing with practice of Yoga ever since (all school of Yoga including hatha, jnana, bhakti). Participated in Bhajan (spiritual service) with Sai Baba community in London several times. Resided in Wales from 2000-2003 in an apartment in complex belonging to Hindu based ashram with resident Swami (member of Order of Saraswati, tracing lineage back to religious Order founded by Shankaracharya, one of the greatest philosophers of Hinduism) – participate in their rituals sometimes; participant in Hindu rituals and puja on many occasions in temples in UK and India. Served on Commitee for Gandhi Foundation for many years, and as their Education officer; published articles in the Gandhi Way.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Initially, inspired to study Hinduism and Yoga by long friendships with several yoga practitioners and scholars of Hinduism; friends with many yogis and yoginis over the years (Indian and Western); met many Hindu spiritual leaders through organising series of seminars in Parliament at House of Lords on Ethics and Peace and Global Responsibility from 1993-2000; invited to speak at the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University in London conference on Spiritual Education in 1995; likewise met many Hindu practitioners through Commonwealth work for peace and launching Commonwealth Interfaith Network; travelled widely in India many times and met many Indian spiritual practitioners of Hinduism; met numerous Gandhians and other leading Hindu spiritual leaders and teachers and educators. Hosted visit by Editor of Rasjathan Patrika, leading Hindi newspaper in India, Dr. Gulab Kothari, who visited Scotland and spoke at Castle of the Muses in Summer 2011. Met many old friends and disciples of Gandhi through serving as education officer for the Gandhi Foundation (1993-1999) including Suru Hoda, Lord Attenborough, Lakshmipati etc.
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN JAIN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Jain philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7); detailed study of Jain scriptures, texts, philosophy (all schools) in Canada 1977-1981; continued study of contribution of Jain thought to history of global philosophy (especially through the transmission of idea of epoche and suspension of judgement to core Western academic tradition via Pyrhho of Elis, Carneades, Cicero etc. Continuing study of Jain philosophy as part of teaching work in religious studies 1993-2001. Published several essays in Jain journals on ahimsa and philosophy.
|1.||Ladnun Declaration, India – December 1995||A proposal on linking global ecology, peace and spirituality by 500 educators assembled in India|
|2.||40 Questions Instead Of A Paper, 3rd International Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, Ladnun, 17-21 December 1995||40 key questions to a global educators in India, published in In Dafferm T.C. Collected Essays 1985-2005, IIPSGP Pubs, 2007|
|3.||Questions instead of a paper for the 5th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolence, Rajasthan, 2003||A further set of philosophical questions presented to a conference in Rajasthan at the Jain University, Ladnun , 2003, published in Dafferm T.C. Collected Essays 1985-2005, IIPSGP Pubs, 2007|
|4||Jaipur Declaration||A declaration in 10 parts, authored after the Japiur 8th International Conference on Peace and Nonviolent Action, Jan 5-8 2014, summing up the findings of the conference,. Published in Towards a Nonviolent future: Seeking realistic models of peaceful co-existence and sustainability (Anuvrat Global Organisation, Jaipur, 2015)|
|5||The Nine Petalled Flower of Peace: footnotes to the Jaipur Declaration||A detailed critique and exposition of the Jaipur Declaration (see above) with detailed explanations for the wording of the Declaration|
|6||An Encyclopaedia of Transpersonal Thought and History 1945-2002
|A comprehensive a-z of who’s who in transpersonal thought from 1945-2001 (appendix to PhD) including many leading Jain thinkers active in this time frame|
Teaching classes on Jainism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Jainism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Jainism for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of Jainism in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2012
Contributed paper in absentia to Jain Conference on Ecology and Peace and non-violence in Delhi December 2005 on The Economics of Peace (publication 2006); have taught aspects of Jain philosophy, especially non-violence in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex.
Visited Jain temples in Rajasthan and campus of Jain University of Ladnun, the only formally accredited Jain University in the world, where he was invited to address a large international conference of peace educators in 1995; and subsequently invited to write up the document which became the Conference Manifesto comprising “Ladnun Declaration on a Peaceful World Living in harmony with the environment”; visited Jain Exhibition at Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Returned to revisit Jain educational centres in Rajasthan in 1998, 2007, 2008. Invited again to India to receive the Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace in May 2011 in Jaipur, meeting with senior Jains. Invited guest and key-note speaker at 100th anniversary Memorial in honour of Acharya Tulsi, in New Delhi, November 2014; guest lecturer at University of Rajasthan, Centre for Nonviolence Studies, November 2014.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued library of Jain texts, translations, scholarly works, covering all schools; User of libraries with Jain collections including SOAS, India Office, Theosophical Society, British Library etc. As Trustee, International Sacred Literature Trust, helped publish classic Jain text, Tattvartha Sutra: That Which Is.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Participated in several Jain religious rituals and ceremonies in India and the UK
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS: Numerous colleagues and friends from the Jain community including: especially Acharya Tulsi, Ganadipathi Mahapragya, Bawa Jain of New York, the monks and nuns (samanis) of Ladnun and the former monk, Salish Kumar; Dr. S. L Gandhi of Jaipur (serving as Indian coordinator for the Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy) and many other senior Jain monks, scholars and Jainologists, including Peter Flugel of SOAS, Jain family who set up and run Motilal Barnasidass in Delhi; Muni Mahendra Kumar, senior Jain monk and scholar from Rajasthan etc.
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE SIKH RELIGIOUS TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITINGS:
Commenced study of Sikh scriptures in Canada 1977-1981; continued with studies in London and at University of London 1985-1988; continuing to develop knowledge of Sikhism ever since, including during 2 visits to Amrita and the Punjab; close student of writings of Kabir, Guru Nanak and the other 9 Gurus; student of modern Sikh movements such as Namdhari Sikhs, Radha Swami and their various offshoots and linkages; close student of Sikh mysticism and links to Sufism and Hinduism; student of the poetry of Kabir and the Sant movement in Northern India; current study includes detailed investigation (with Sikh colleague) on the contribution of Sikhs in the 19th century to the idea of the “Mahatmas” and the “invisible hierarchy of saints” in Theosophical lore and contribution of Sikhs to the History of the Indian Independence Movement.
Taught classes on Sikhism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Taught classes on Sikhism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Taught classes on Sikhism for University of Oxford 1997-2000
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience of all aspects of Sikh history and culture in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 2012); participated in Religious festivals in East London at the initiation of the Sikh community (2002); continued development of the work of the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service with the support of various Sikh colleagues and friends.
To Sikh Gurdwaras in Southall and Wimbledon and elsewhere in London as part of interfaith work (1990-present) asked to address audience at Sikh Gurdwaras in Newham in 1999 and 2001; invited to address Conference of Sikh scholars on Peace Education in the Punjab at Bhani Sahib 1995; invited guest speaker in May 2001 at conference in Punjab on the Role of the Sikhs in the History of the Indian Independence Movement; visited the Golden Temple at Amritsar in 1995 and 2001 and the Museum of Sikh history there; visited Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, May 2001.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Amassed library of core Sikh texts and commentaries, including many books purchased in the Punjab on two visits there; visited library of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar and numerous bookshops in Punjab.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY:
Received sacred sound initiation from Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh in India 1995; regarded as equivalent to an honorary Sikh by many Sikh friends; participant in various Sikh religious ceremonies in India and UK; on Board of Advisers to Namdhari Sikh Historical Society
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Friends with Sri Satguru Jagjit Singh, worldwide head of Namdhari Sikh Community, with Surjit Singh (head of Namdhari Sikh research centre, London) and with H.S. Hanspal, member of Indian Raja Sabha (all of whom attended a meeting he organised on Ethics And Peace at House of Lords); good friends with many other Sikhs met in India and UK; met Vice Chancellor of Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India and discussed possible academic collaboration; friend to several Sikh historians, artists and cultural figures and educators for many years.
In addition to the above work in the fields of comparative Indian religion, philosophy and history, Thomas has also been active as a peace educator and philosopher closer to home in the UK over many years. Given the ongoing conflicts over Britain’s relationship with Ireland, he founded in 2006 THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR BRITAIN AND IRELAND (TRCBI). This occasional meeting is open to all who have the long term interests of peacemaking in Britain and Ireland, and particularly the final ending of the long conflicts in Ireland, at heart. It is held variously in a different part of Ireland or Britain, being held so far in Angelsey (2006), Dublin (2007), Belfast (2008) and Salisbury (2015) to make it possible for participants to come both from both parts of Ireland as well as throughout the British Isles. Its foundation is based on the view that with the peace process in Ireland having moved so far in recent years, it is time to encourage a healthy debate between both Irish and British peace thinkers, activists and spiritual leaders, so as to vision together a long future for both Britain and Ireland. Representatives are invited from among those who participated or took part in the conflict, from whichever perspective, and to come forward and share their testimony, and hopefully explain how the path of peace and non-violent political conflict resolution is in the long run more effective than the path of violence ever could be.
As a lecturer, Thomas has lectured widely in numerous colleges and Universities and schools, and has taught at London and Oxford Universities for many years in adult and further and continuing education (Birkbeck College and Rewley’s House – see http://www.bbk.ac.uk/ and http://www.conted.ox.ac.uk) as well as for the WEA (http://www.wea.org.uk) and at the Institute of Education (http://ioewebserver.ioe.ac.uk/ioe/index.html). More recently he has also taught in secondary schools and has been serving as head of religious studies and philosophy at several schools in the UK.
As a poet he established the Order of Wandering Peace Poets in Macedonia in 1998. This Order has now metamorphosed into the Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids (OPPBD). He has published 6 volumes of poetry. The first volume of his collected poems cover poems written between 1971-1994, (http://www.lulu.com/content/285939) and the second volume covers poems from about 1995 to 2005 (http://www.lulu.com/content/286144). Volume three of his collected poems covers poems written from 2004-2008 (http://www.lulu.com/content/2616027) in places as diverse as the Phillipines, India, UK, France etc. Volume 4 covers poems written from Thomas was invited on three separate occasions to participate in presentation of the Struga Poetry Evenings in Macedonia to participate in the Golden Wreath award. (http://www.svp.org.mk/). Previous winners have included Ted Hughes and Pablo Neruda. He gave a reading of some of his poetry at the Rougham Stars and Stones Conference in November 2007, which was televised (www.holisticchannel.org.uk). Thomas is also in the process of recording a Talking Book of all his 900 poems, which will be available on disc sometime towards the end of 2016. The 6th volume of his collected poems, covering work from 2013-2015 is now also published at http://www.lulu.com/shop/dr-thomas-clough-daffern/collected-poems-of-thomas-clough-daffern-volume-6-2013-2015/paperback/product-22430381.html.
He was an active supporter of the late Robert Hart’s Forest Garden project in Much Wenlock, Shropshire, and organised a Seminar on Wenlock Edge with Robert Hart’s support, on behalf of the School of Nonviolence, in 1997. Robert was the author oa number of interesting books on self-reliance and spirituality in the Gandhian tradition, and asked Thomas to write the forward to his last book, Beyond the Forest Garden. Robert died in 2000, the same year that Thomas moved to Powys in the Welsh Marches to live in an ashram run by Yogis in the lineage tradition of Shankaracharya. More details on Robert’s life is found here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Hart_(horticulturist)
Thomas also supported the foundation of the Association of Spiritual Academies International along with the work of Rev. Dr Carole Parrish of the Sancta Sophia Seminary (http://www.sanctasophia.org). Thomas has lectured twice at Sancta Sophia Seminary in Oklahoma on aspects of esoteric philosophical wisdom and peace and inter-faith mediation. The idea of the Association was to create a network of Wisdom Schools worldwide; linking together formal and informal educational projects, centres and ashrams that deal primarily with the transmission and cultivation of wisdom rather than quantitative educational knowledge, as do most social science based educational centres and Universities. Thomas hosted the final meeting of this project at the Theosophical Society headquarters in 1997 in London, which saw a gathering of many light workers, wisdom workers and educationist from Russia, India, the USA, Europe, Israel representing a whole variety of different spiritual teachings and traditions. Thomas presented a paper in the form of a series of questions about how best to network the world’s innumerable wisdom schools and what kinds of obstacles may oppose those who try to do this kind of work. Among the many people taking part were: the late Edmee di Pauli, Dr Richard Kirby of the International Association of Religious Futurists (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_S._Kirby), Menorah Charney (see ) whom Thomas was later to visit in Tel Aviv and to interview about her life’s work, Menorah being one of the fist teachers to introduce meditation courses into modern day Israel; Dr. Carl Shapley, son of the late Harlow Shapley, astronomer from Harvard University and colleague of Albert Einstein. It was an honour to facilitate this event for these people, many of whom have now sadly passed away.
As a Druid and Philosopher, Thomas is founder of the Pagan Academic Network which is an initiative to create a network for academics interested in paganism either theoretically or practically. This PAGAN ACADEMIC AND EDUCATION NETWORK (P.A.E.N.) continues to develop as a project of IIPSGP. PAEN is interested to work on research and development projects concerning all aspects of the overlaps between paganism and education. Academic life itself began as an impulse cultivated under the guidance of classical pagan teachings; the Academy in Athens, the Lyceum established by Aristotle, and the Mouseion (Museum) of Alexandria were all conceived as places of learning based on spirituality, religious idealism and practical education and research. IIPSGP has recently been in touch with a Greek pagan organisation which is campaigning for religious freedom under the Greek constitution as the legal successor to the ancient Greek pagan priesthood, and requesting freedom of access for religious worship at the ancient Greek shrines and temples scattered throughout the land (www.ysee.gr). He visited Greece in August 2008, as well as Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia and Venice, to report back on his founding tour if Israel and Palestine to establish the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East.
As Chair and co-founder of the Stonehenge Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Thomas has convened many meetings in Wiltshire (with the late George Firsoff) bringing together all parties involved in the use and management of Stonehenge including English Heritage, the Police, local landowners, Druids, Pagans, Wiccans, Shamans etc. This series of meetings has helped create the conditions which made it possible at the Summer solstice of June 20/21 2000 for over 7000 people to have free and open access to Stonehenge for a millennial celebration. He helped train a team of approx 25 peace stewards who worked alongside other groups to ensure that the celebrations were nonviolent and a success for everyone who attended. Since then there have been a series of annual summer solstice events which have gone off peacefully and in 2008 over 30,000 peaceful pilgrims braved the slight drizzle to commune with the sacred landscape and await the dawn of the longest day. On June 21st 2008 he convened the Stonehenge Eisteddfod in Amesbury, near to Stonehenge itself. Eisteddfod winners for 2008 included Gerald Killingworth (http://www.troubador.co.uk/author_detail.asp?surname=Killingworth) and Geraldine Lambert (http://www.crowsbone.com/SPA/) among others. The Stonehenge Eisteddfod is co-organised by the Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids, and the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. The 2008 event was filmed by www.holisticchannel.org.uk.
Thomas also serves as Peace Officer to the Council of British Druid Orders (COBDO – see http://cobdo.org.uk/) and has had a long love affair with all aspects of Druidry and an eco-centred spirituality affirming nature and Goddess/God equally, and which celebrates the wisdom of primal peoples of all cultures, epochs and geographical regions. He has lectured extensively on primal religions and published several articles and essays on aspects of pagan and primal spirituality including an article on Amerindian Ethical Teachings in the Encyclopedia of Applied Ethics (edited by Dan Cohen).
He is also Chair of Pagan and Druids Rights and Services (PADRAS) an umbrella group which works to sharpen the awareness of Pagan and Druid rights and responsibilities worldwide, a body founded by George Firsoff http://www.stonehengecampaign.org.uk/greenleaf/padras.htm) He is also a member of the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids (www.druidry.org) and an Honourary Member of several other Druid Orders. He served additionally from 1997-2007 as a Governor of the Saor Ollscoil Na h’eireann / Free University of Ireland which is an alternative higher education institution in Ireland, where one is able to undertake both BA, MA and Ph.D. degrees via their good offices, and a recognised qualification in peace studies. More details from the website: www.saor-ollscoil.ie
The following gives a clearer over view of Thomas’s long interest academic interest in pagan religions:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN PAGAN, PRIMAL AND CLASSICAL RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of Pagan, Primal and Druid philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7); Detailed study of Pagan texts and philosophy (all schools) in Canada 1977-1981; Continuing study of Pagan historiography as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988; detailed study of Paganism in Europe and talks on this subject given at various venues (for Pagan Federation in Birmingham, Worcester, Cheltenham); courses undertaken with Wrekin Trust 1983-1990 on some aspects of pagan esotericism; founder of Pagan Academic and Educational Network (PAEN); contributed article on Amerindian Ethics and Spirituality to World Encyclopaedia of Ethics (Academic Press, 1999) and articles on Maori Religion, Central American Primal Religions; Australian Aboriginal Religion to Encyclopaedia of Religions (1997); articles on Hermeticism and pagan traditions in the Renaissance and European History. Publication of several essays on different aspects of Pagan and hermetic studies. Considerable knowledge of Greek and Roman Classical religious traditions, expertise in Ancient Greek and Latin and familiarity with the classical texts (Plato, Aristotle, Herodotus, Homer, Virgil, Cicero et al.) at the root of European classical culture. Detailed studies over many years of Chinese and Japanese pagan religions (Taoism and Shintoism) and Confucian philosophical traditions (an offshoot of Chinese paganism as Western classical philosophy is an offshoot of ancient European paganism). In 2013 he published a detailed study of the History of Druidry, based on his doctoral studies in transpersonal history, entitled Druidry and Transpersonal History, which was first written as a Mount Haemus lecture for the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids. The aim of this Mt Haemus research was to examine Druid history in the light of developments in 20th century transpersonal psychology, including Jung, Maslow, Wilber and Grof and to assess their potential for contributing to the development of transpersonal history, which in turn can be used to re-examine Druid history. The book builds on from the author’s doctoral thesis, which argued for the need for a new genre of historiography (like feminist history, or economic history) namely transpersonal history, arguing that we need an objective, scientific way of doing historical research, that can take cognizance of the subjective and spiritual dimensions of people’s lives, and the immense implications such inner experiences can have for outer events and circumstances. In 2014 he published a further detailed study of the relationships between the Runic Systems of Norse and Germanic pagan wisdom and the Qabalistic traditions, which argued convincingly that there must be a historical linkage between these two esoteric systems going back to ancient pre-historic times. The work is available here: The Qabalah Runes – A Comparative Philological And Philosophical Study Of The Qabalah And The Runic Systems Of Esoteric Wisdom and can be found here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/thomas-clough-daffern-phd/the-qabalah-runes-a-comparative-philological-and-philosophical-study-of-the-qabalah-and-the-runic-systems-of-esoteric-wisdom/paperback/product-21033766.html
|Peace & Justice In Primal Spiritual Traditions, 1991||Paper to lecture series at University of London|
|American Indian Ethical Teachings: a survey||First published in the World Encyclopaedia of Ethics, San Diego, USA, 1999|
|The Goddess of Peace and Healing:||A report on a Malvern conference in 1998 and a proposal for a follow up meeting in Galilee (postponed)|
|Druids as Peacemakers: Towards an Order of Druid Peacelovers||A historical survey of the peace role of Druids|
|Pagan Academic Network: report on a project and process underway||A survey of moves to establish a network dealing with all aspects of pagan studies|
|The Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Stonehenge: a report on work in progress||A study of the work of the MMMS in helping to clear up the aftermath of the conflicts ranging around access to Stonehenge by the alternative community|
|Pagan Enlightenments (lecture given in Shrewsbury 2003)||An original philosophical contribution arguing that “enlightenments” are an ongoing plural, polytheistic dynamic process rather than a monolatrous on/off, study includes all pagan traditions including Taoist, Druid, Classical European, Germanic, Shinto, Confucian, Wiccan, Norse and Runic, Hindu etc.|
TEACHING: Teaching classes on Pagan & Primal and Classical Religions: on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000; at Birkbeck College, Univ. of London 1993-1999; for University of Oxford 1997-2000; Lectured entire course on ancient Greek culture and philosophy at Poole Grammar School (for local adult education authority) in 2007; Taught 2 x 12 part courses on Druidry, detailing all aspects of contemporary and historical living Druidical traditions, (Argyll, 2011-2012) – (recorded for audio distribution) Delivered Mt Haemus Druidical Studies Lecture for 2012, at Salisbury Mediaeval Hall.
VISITS: Visit to Preseli Mountains 1976; walked to Stonehenge from Bristol 1976; visited American Indian sacred sites in 1977-1981 and in 1999/2000; visit to Fellowship of Isis Headquarters in Ireland 1983; visited Delphi and Eleusis in Greece, 1983, visited Cos, Samos, Rhodes, Crete in 1984; visited Athens and Parthenon in 2008; visited Mount Olympus (and Dion) in 2000; visited Tara, Ireland in 1998 for Summer solstice peace rituals; visited Sancta Sophia Seminary in Oklahoma 1999 and participated in Native American sacred peace pipe ceremony; visited Pagan Retreat Centre on West Coast of Ireland (Teach Shanraw) for Lughnasadh Festival 1998. Visited pagan sites in Brittany (2006). Visited Rome and the Capitoline Hill and it museum (housing ancient Temple of Jupiter and Juno) in 2012. Visited Stonehenge and Avebury frequently and helped organise Peace Stewards at Stonehenge Summer Solstice celebrations from 2000 onwards. Many other pagan and classical shrines, temples and centres visited over the past 30 years throughout Europe and the British Isles.
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Considerable teaching experience of all aspects of pagan, primal and classical religious traditions in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 2012) including aspects of Druidry, Runic traditions, classical Greek and Roman Paganism, Scandinavian mythology, Australian Aboriginal Creation myths, Maori Religious teachings, American Indian Ethical traditions, Ancient Egyptian theology, and Mesopotamian religious traditions, Taoism and Shintoism; visited the Pergamon museum in Berlin and viewed their extensive Pagan antiquities including the famous Ishtar gate from Babylon (September 2005); continued to develop the work of the Druid Peace Order; continued with studies for the Order Of Bards, Ovates And Druids; participated in a Druid Camp in May 2005; continued to serve as Peace Officer to the Council of Druid Orders; interviewed for a radio programme on Druidry for BBC Radio Shropshire August 2005; convening the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland (TRCBI) in Anglesey (August 2006) with the participation of various Druid groups from both Ireland and Britain. Held founding conference of Pagan Academic and Education Network (PAEN) in July 2009 on Wenlock Edge, Shropshire. Awarded Peace Sword of Britain as Honourary Regalia of Office at ceremony in Avebury, 2006; featured in the documentary film “Druid” about contemporary Druid traditions (in production).
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: Accrued large library of pagan and primal religious texts, including translations, scholarly works, covering all schools and traditions such as: Druidry, Wicca, Amerindian religion, Australian Aboriginal religion, Shamanism, Heretics, Ancient Greek religion, ancient Roman religion, Egyptology and Egyptian religion, Babylonian and Sumerian religion, Chinese and Taoist religions, Shintoism; Goddess traditions and neo-pagan feminist religious traditions; user of many libraries with Pagan collections including SOAS, Theosophical Society, British Library, London Library, University of London Library, Warburg Institute
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Invited to become member of Council of British Druid Orders (1998); Co-Founder and Chair of Stonehenge Truth and Reconciliation Commission 1997-2001 (which has organised over 16 meetings in Wiltshire between Police, English Heritage, travellers, neo-pagans, Druids etc. on all aspects of the use and management of Stonehenge as a sacred temple); invited to attend Wiccan Summer gathering in Devon and participated in Wiccan sacred rites at Lammas 1997; invited to attend and participate in Wiccan religious rites in Gloucestershire 1998; Chair of Pagan and Druid Rights and Services 1999-; Peace Officer and member, Council of British Druid Orders; Founder and of Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids; Organised training for peacemakers at Stonehenge Summer Solstice gatherings 2000 and 2001; participant in various pagan and Druid rituals around the country at Samhain, Beltane, Lammas, at Avebury, Stonehenge, and other stone circles and sacred sites; recommended inclusion of Pagan spiritual leaders on Interfaith organisations such as the World Conference on Religion and Peace, the Asha Centre; member of Fellowship of Isis (from 1983-). Member of the Pagan Federation since 1983 and speaker at numerous events. As a Druid, he founded in 2007 the CENTRE FOR DRUID PHILOSOPHY which is dedicated to research and education into all aspects of the Druid philosophical tradition, in the widest possible senses of the term. The Centre is a networking organisation for both under-graduate and postgraduate students, as well as academics and intellectuals worldwide, and is now based in Scotland. Its purpose is to advance study and research into the complex, multilayered and ancient legacy of Druid thought, and to help advance international understanding, cooperation and peace through dialogue, research and education. Its work is divided into several sections, including Research, Education, Publications, Conferences, celebrations and the Internet. Its study agendas include advancing research into all aspects of the Druid philosophical tradition, and its worldwide significance and impact. In 2007 one of his lectures (in Bury St Edmunds) on Druidry and World Peace was recorded and which is available at www.holisticchannel.org.uk (see Human Rights Section).
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS: Prof. Ronald Hutton (Prof of History at Bristol University and expert in paganism); George Firsoff (Secretary, Pagan and Druid Rights and Services), Arthur Pendragon (sometime Chair, Council of British Druid Orders); Angie Gill Jennings (Wiccan High Priestess and Pagan Federation organiser for Gloucestershire); numerous Pagan and Wiccan and Druid friends including senior members of Pagan Federation; Brian Bourne, Bev Richardson, Jan Setford, Christine Thompson, Maxine Sanders, the late Rev Durdin Robertson and Olivia Robertson, co founders of the Fellowship of Isis; Liz Murray (Liaison Officer, Council of British Druid Orders); Douglas Lyne (Welsh Liaison Officer, Council of British Druid Orders); Michael McGrath (Ireland); Philip Carr-Gomm, (Chosen Chief, Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids); Caitlin Matthews, John Matthews, Peter Beresford-Ellis, Tim Sebastian, Mary Napper, Dr. Graham Harvey, Edmund Marriage, Sir John Agnew, Robin Williamson, Nicola Hague, Prof Arnold Keyserling, Sun Bear, mother and father (George and Eileen Daffern) and early teachers instilled love of ancient legends of Greece and Rome; numerous students and colleagues met over the years
As well as a pagan, runic practitioner and Druid, Thomas is also a Christian, perhaps unusually, and has spent many years studying the depths of the Christian mysteries, and travelling to holy sites associated with that tradition.
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced serious study of Bible (Old and New Testament) in Canada 1977-1981
Learned classical Greek to read New Testament in original in Canada
Intensive private study of Christian theology 1977-present
Formal study of Christian history and theology at University of London as part of degree
Publication of several essays on different aspects of Christian studies.
Current work (2011-2015) includes researching and recording a detailed oral commentary on the New Testament using all available contemporary and historical scholarship, including analysis of the Greek, Aramaic and Latin meanings of the text (work completed so far comprises over 80 recorded hours of teaching time). The commentary on the Gospel of Matthew is available already at https://musespress.wordpress.com/audio-lectures/
Taught classes on Christianity on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Taught mediation to pupils of Archbishop Michael Ramsay School, London, 1992-1993
Taught classes on Christianity for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Taught classes on Christianity for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Taught courses on Peace and Spirituality at Sancta Sophia Seminary, USA (1999/2000)
Taught courses on Christianity and Biblical Studies in Scotland (2011-2015)
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Intensive teaching experience of Christian theology, ideas and history at secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 2012); pilgrimage to Bardsey Island 2005; running a prayer and meditation group at Sherwood Hall School; ran regular Druid-Christian prayer group meetings in Wales and now in Castle in Argyll, Scotland.
Study tour of Holy Land in 1995, visiting Bethlehem, Galilee, Jerusalem
Visits to Grace Cathedral (San Francisco) and Cathedral of St John the Divine (New York); Assisi (1992) Rome and St Peters (1992 and 1995), Moscow (Kremlin Churches) 1993; Patmos and Rhodes (1984) Thessalonica and Macedonia (1998/9/2000); visits to numerous churches and Christian religious centres in the UK (Iona, Whithorn, St Davids, St Andrews, Prinknash Abbey, many major Abbeys and Cathedrals including: Canterbury, Gloucester, Worcester, Hereford, York, Chester, Westminster, Oxford, Cwm Hir, Strata Florida, Chichester, Oban, Glasgow, Edinburgh etc.) Study tour of Holy Land revisiting Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Galilee etc. to launch Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East, August 2008. Visit to Rome and Vatican in 2012, and acquired Vatican Library Readers Card spending many happy hours in the Vatican Library; led study pilgrimage to Iona in July 2011. Visit to Venice (St Marks) 2011 and to Halle in Germany, where Martin Luther’s death mask is on display in 2011. Visited Monte Cassino, exploring the treasures of this most ancient sanctuary in 2013 en route to the World Congress of Philosophy. Visits to Istanbul in 2014 to Agia Sophia and the current mother church of the Orthodox communion worldwide. Visit to St Thomas’ Cathedral in Chennai (Madras) India.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Amassed very large ecumenical library of Christian literature: bibles, lexicons, dictionaries, theological texts, Christology, pneumatology, feminist theology, Christian history, mysticism; acquaintance with many Christian theological libraries including: Dr William Library London, Lambeth Palace Library, Catholic Central Library (London), Heythrop College Library, Kings College Library, Friends House Library, Union Theological Seminary (New York), Catholic Ecumenical Study Centre Library (Venice), National Libraries of Norway, USA (Library of Congress), Italy (Rome), France (Paris), Sorbonne, Cambridge, Oxford, Vatican Library etc.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Became attender at Calgary Friends Meeting from 1978-1981
Regular peripatetic attender of Quaker meetings to present day (Toronto, Cambridge MA, Belfast, Westminster, Hampstead, Penn, Worcester, Shrewsbury etc)
Baptised (and confirmed) at Kings College Chapel, University of London, 1987
Contemplated joining Anglican Franciscan community (1983)
Regular participant in services in ecumenical church (Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Indian Christian, Coptic, Quaker, mystical/esoteric, Gnostic. Druid etc.)
Served as Governing Board Member for Anglican Pacifist Fellowship 1999-2000
Member Fellowship of St Albans and St Sergius (1983-1990)
Member of The Modern Churchman’s Union (1981-1986)
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Numerous friends in the Quaker community; and in the wider Church; inspired by Revd Donald Reeves of St James Church, Piccadilly, to a broad view of Church’s mission in the contemporary world; by Sancta Sophia Seminary; friends include: Rev. Marcus Braybrooke; Rev Geraint ap Iorwerth; Rev. Dr Carol Parrish; Rev Dr. Richard Kirby, Alfred Agius S.J. Bishop Richard Harries, Prof Keith Ward etc.
Thomas has also served on the Board of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship (www.anglicanpeacemaker.org.uk) and remains supportive of the quiet, still, rational voice of Anglicanism in the world wide ecumenical Christian community. In 2007 he also founded the ORDER OF ST THOMAS, whilst in Venice, as a new Catholic and Ecumenical Christian spiritual order dedicated to the reconciliation of Christian wings and factions (Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Gnostic etc.) through rigorous intellectual scholarship and frontier work on harmonising science and religion. (see http://www.wnrf.org/cms/order-st-thomas-formed.shtml) He has also written a Dictionary of Thomas’s listing over 600 thinkers, writers, scholars and saints with the Christian name Thomas (eg Becket, Jefferson, Aquinas, Hobbes etc.) and argues that the Thomas tradition is an inclusive and gnostic current running throughout the universal church in which intelligent doubt is permissible and acts as a spur to real faith.
As well as academic engagement with Christian theology, Thomas has also been deeply immersed in the study of Judaism over many years, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE JEWISH RELIGIOUS TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Judaism and Jewish philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7); Detailed study of Jewish scriptures, texts, philosophy (all schools) in Canada 1977-198; Study of Judaism and history of Israel and Jewish culture and politics as part of international history degree at University of London 1985-1988 including: detailed studies of Judaism in Russia, Poland and Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire and the history of esoteric Judaism (Kabbalah); detailed studies of Christian Kabbalah and philosemtisim among religious reformers and Christian mystics in Renaissance and early modern European history; role of Jewish thinkers in the enlightenment (Spinoza) and subsequently; detailed studies of anti Semitism and the pseudo-religious thinking behind the holocaust and also behind pseudo-Islamic anti-Semitism; studied Kabbalah with Warren Kenton; contributed study on the significance of the Zohar to Symposium on Islamic Jewish, Christian Symbiosis in Al Andalus, Cordoba, 1991 organised by International Peace Research Association and UNESCO (subsequently excluded from project for advocating non-exclusion of Israeli scholars from the board of advisers – appealed directly to UNESCO for redress) publication of several essays on different aspects of Jewish studies. Current work includes researching a detailed oral commentary on the Ketuvim (last third of the Jewish Bible) using all available contemporary and historical scholarship, including analysis of the Hebrew meanings of the text. In 2014 he published a work which compared and contrasted Qabalistic and Runic teachings about language and sonic mysticism, being the first such study to propose that the ancestral roots of both esoteric systems must lie in the Palaeolithic shamanism of Eurasian tribal groupings, which only later split into two separate and divergent lineages, the one Indo-European and the other Hamito-Semitic. The book examined in extraordinary detail the ancestry of Qabalistic ideas, and is called: The Qabalah Runes – A Comparative Philological And Philosophical Study Of The Qabalah And The Runic Systems Of Esoteric Wisdom and can be found here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/thomas-clough-daffern-phd/the-qabalah-runes-a-comparative-philological-and-philosophical-study-of-the-qabalah-and-the-runic-systems-of-esoteric-wisdom/paperback/product-21033766.html
Teaching classes on Judaism and the Kabbalah on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Judaism and the Kabbalah for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999; Teaching classes on Judaism and the Kabbalah for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of Judaism and the Kabbalah in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2012
Taught classes in History of Global Philosophy at the Jewish Vegetarian Society headquarters, Golders Green, London for WEA 1998/9
Extensive teaching of Jewish thought, history and culture in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 20012); led special assembly for National Holocaust day (Jan 27 2006); organized visits to Beth Shalom, National Holocaust museum in Nottinghamshire; contributed an essay on Transpersonal Psycho-History and the Search For Peace in the Israeli /Palestine Conflict (published separately 2010). From 2010 he has been engaged in writing a detailed Commentary on the Jewish scriptures (the Ketuvim – see https://musespress.wordpress.com/audio-lectures/) as well as undertaking a comprehensive Commentary on The Book of Enoch, a Jewish sacred scripture written in the centuries before Christ, and whose manuscripts survived in the Ethiopian (Geez) version of the Old Testament, and which was also found in the Qumran Library of the Essene community known as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Visit to Israel in 1995, including: Safed (home of Isaac Luria’s school of mysticism), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (including library of Gershom Scholem); Jerusalem (old city), Tel Aviv, Galilee, Tiberias, Netanya, Haifa, Tel Dan, Baniyas, Masada, Qumran, Sepphoris, Yad Vashem (Museum of Holocaust); visited Auschwitz, Poland in 2000; Synagogues in various places including: Vienna, Venice, London, New York, Israel, Kibbutz’s and peace centres in Israel including: Neve Shalom, Shorashim etc. Visited Israel again in 2008 and filmed interviews for Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the Middle East, in Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and many other places. Revisited again in 2011 as key note speaker at conference to celebrate life and work of Menorah Charney speaking on the Future of the Middle East and Peacemaking from a Spiritual and Esoteric perspective, at Ramat Gan.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued large library of core texts of Judaism including selections from the Mishnah, Rabbinic works, Kabbalah, translations, scholarly works, covering all schools of Judaism; User of many libraries with important Jewish collections including: SOAS, British Library, London Library, Jews College Library, Weiner Library, University of London Library, Jewish National and Hebrew University Library, Jerusalem (including personal library of Gershom Scholem), Jewish Theological Seminary (New York)
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Member of International Order of Kabbalists (1983-) Committed Christian Kabbalist and Philosemite (in tradition of John Dee, Gemistus Plethon, Guillaume Postel, Abelard etc.) Associations with the Israel Interfaith Association and with the International Association of Wisdom Schools (Israel branch); participated in various Sabbath and Seder meals; participated in various synagogue worship services
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Rabbi Hugo Gryn; Rabbi Friedlander (Dean of Studies, Leo Baeck College); Warren Kenton (Z’ev ben Shimon Halevi); Prof Julie Peters (Harvard University); various Israeli and Jewish friends have come to his Institute’s meetings on Peace and Global Ethics at House of Lords, 1993-2000, Gila Haron of Tel Aviv (IIPSGP representative in Israel), innumerable Jewish friends inside Israel and outside etc.
In addition, Thomas has for many years been engaged in a detail academic study of Islam, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE ISLAMIC RELIGIOUS TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of Islam and Islamic philosophy and Sufism whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7); Continued detailed study of Islam (all schools) in Canada 1977-1981; Study of Islamic history continued as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988 with specialist papers on the history of South Eastern Europe and the Ottoman Empire (prize awarded); Continuing to explore aspects of Islamic history and philosophy from 1988 – now covering all schools (Sunni, Shiia, Sufi etc.); Published article “What is Sufism” in Macedonian translation in leading Islamic journal of Skopje (1999); Attended numerous academic conferences on Islamic history and philosophy and theology; published article on Eastern Europe, Islam and the Challenge of Peace in Polish Journal of International Affairs (1991); deep study of Sufism over the years on a theoretical and practical (academic and experiential) basis; knowledge of Sufi poetics and literature; some knowledge of Arabic including formal classes, enough to cover basic theological and philosophical vocabulary; wrote detailed study of Ibn Al Arabi for UNESCO Symposium in Cordoba 1991 (published subsequently); founded Order of Wandering Peace Poets, Macedonia, 1998, including Albanian Sufi poets, working for peace through the inspired word; founded Islamic and Middle Eastern Interfaith Peace Studies Association (IIMEPSA) in 1994 to network with academics in Islamic countries working for peace (ongoing). Published Towards a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East (2008). Current work (2011-2012) includes researching and recording a detailed oral commentary on the Koran using all available contemporary and historical scholarship, including analysis of the Arabic meanings of the text (first third of Koran commentary completed in detail, comprising over 200 recorded hours of teaching time).
TEACHING: Teaching classes on Islam and Sufism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000; Teaching classes on Islam and Sufism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Islam and Sufism for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Guest lecturer at Beshara School of Intensive Esoteric Education, Scotland with talk on “The Heart of Mind & the Quest for Peace & World Order: A Semantic Approach” at a Symposium in 1992 in memoriam to Dom Sylvester Houedard (1925‑1992); Taught formally at Muslim College in London courses on education, history and philosophy 1992-1994 and met many senior Islamic students from around the world; Organised and Co-Chaired study seminar at House of Lords on the Search for Peace in the Middle East (1994) with representative of various Embassies present; PhD examiner for senior Muslim doctoral student (Chief Imam of Ireland) in 2012; numerous classes on Islamic Philosophy and peace in various courses for IIPSGP, 1991-2015.
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience on all aspects of Islam in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001-2012); serving as a trustee for the Afghan satellite TV project; convening a symposium on poetry and peace in Shiraz, Iran to celebrate the tradition of Sufi in poetry especially Hafiz; convening the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Holy Lands in Bethlehem (Palestine) and Galilee (Israel) in August 2008/9/10; authored an essay on Transpersonal Psycho- History and the Search For Peace in the Israeli /Palestine conflicts. Since 2010 he has been engaged in a detailed Commentary on the Quran, which consists of over 200 hours of audio-commentary, now available as a CD in MP3 format (see https://musespress.wordpress.com/audio-lectures) In response to continuing civil war in numerous countries between Shiias and Sunnis, he has called more recently, following the ISIL attack in Paris in November 2015, for the establishment of a SUNNI, SHIIA AND SUFI PEACE COMMISSION: This Commission is tasked with inquiring into establishing a theological, intellectual and scientific truce, ceasefire and reconciliation between practitioners of Sunni, Shiite and Sufi Islam, so that their conflicts may be returned to the academic seminar room, the lecture hall and the library, and no longer fought out in physical, military or “intelligence” battles; the Commission proceeds on the assumption that authentic Islam, which requires surrender to the Absolute Creator and Ruler of the entire Universe, transcends these man-made divisions and that since authentic Islamic at its best requires and supports peace, calmness, tranquility, non-violence, friendship, amity and love, scholars of Islam throughout the world must do all they can to bring about reconciliation and peace between the different divisions and branches of Islamic thought and culture through study, scholarship, scientific evidence, prayer, historical research, literature, poetry, the arts, music, diplomatics, and the cultivation of educational excellence. Simplistic Jihadis and terrorists who advocate violence against anyone outside their own narrow definition of Islam will be refuted by this Commission for their intellectual and moral simplicity, and returned to the correct path of spiritual jihad against our own ignorance. In 2014 he participated in a historic gathering in Cordoba examining the legacy of the Golden Age of Andalusian Islamic civilization, and gave a paper on the contributions of Ibn Arabi and other key thinkers in the search for peace.
VISITS: Various Mosques and Islamic study centres in the UK (Regents Park, Wimbledon, East London) and elsewhere (Vienna, Rome, Paris, Delhi, Bangalore, Jerusalem, Cordoba, Fez); Qadian in India (headquarter of Ahmadiyya Muslims); Morocco, Palestine (Nablus, Jericho, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Hebron); Andalusia (Cordoba, Granada); Chisolme Institute (Scotland); Cordoba (Spain), Khoda Baksh Library (Patna, India)
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library over the years covering the Koran and Hadith, Islamic history and philosophy and Islamic contributions to medicine and science; knowledge of various Islamic libraries including the Muslim College in London, and involvement with the Al Furqan trust whose mission is to catalogue all Islamic manuscripts in the various libraries of the Islamic world, sponsored by Sheikh Yamani
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Interested in Sufism by direct contact with a Sufi circle in Brighton, 1976-; involvement with Sufi Order of the West (Pir Vilayat Khan); friendship with Afghan Sufi leader Pir Gailani, head of Qadiri Order worldwide from 1993 to present (through students at Muslim College); participant in Zhikr on several occasions; UK Coordinator for Euro-Arab Itinerant University (appointed by Prof. Mohammad Aziza)
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS: Sheikh Rashid; Pir Vilayat Khan; the late Dr Zaki Badawi, Pir Gailani (spiritual leader of moderate Afghans), Sheikh Nazim head of Naqshbandi Sufi Order, plus many Islamic friends and students met over the years; closest friends are Sufis, including Peter Young of Chisolme House and Carla Halford (student of Idries Shah); Dr Ali of Muslim College; Shapur Amini (Afghan student); Prof. Jawid (Former Rector of University of Kabul), Sayid Hussein Nasr (former Dean, Iranian Academy of Philosophy); Dr. Charles Burnett of Warburg Institute; Dr. Hasan Askari (Sufi author) etc.
As a result of his long interest in peacemaking in the middle East and e possibility of theological reconciliation between Christians, Muslim and Jews in the region, in August 2008 Thomas visited Israel and Palestine to found the TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE MIDDLE EAST (TRCME). It is intended that the project will address several outstanding issues involving peace and the need for reconciliation in the Middle East as a whole (including Israel/Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, Afghanistan etc. The Commission was launched in Israel/Palestine in 2008 and the intention is to move around to different Middle Eastern countries on an ad hoc thereafter as well as continuing with Israel and Palestine (Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Iran etc.). In his accompanying publication TOWARDS A TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE MIDDLE EAST he explains two things, firstly the background behind the launching of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East in 2008, and secondly to give something of the theoretical framework in which this project is being based. Unusual among peace institutes worldwide, the work of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy is dedicated not to the political or military or even economic aspects of peace building, although all such are important – but rather to the causal and metaphysical level of peace building – the building of peace in the collective imagination, the collective will and the collective intelligence of mankind’s warring tribes, nations and religions. The book is therefore concerned with the psychological healing and philosophical reconstruction of mankind’s inner life, alongside the outermost socio-economic factors. (See http://www.lulu.com/content/2619171) A further meeting of the TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE MIDDLE EAST took place in Israel and Palestine in 2013, with a large number of interviews conducted with leading thinkers in the region. A filmed documentary has also been made by Nicola Hague about the work of the TRCME. A webage has also been created to showcase this project at https://trcme.wordpress.com/. In 2014 following the disastrous conflict between Israel and Palestine over Gaza, Thomas issued a Peace Plan to resolve the conflict in July of that year.
This 19 Point Peace Plan for Gaza and Palestine and Israel, has arisen out of the ongoing tragedy of the conflict between Israel and Palestine, especially Gaza, and the need to solve this situation once and for all, to the benefit of everyone involved. The proposal is fair and just to all sides in this conflict and would provide a long term solution to redress the struggle at root source. It can be regarded as an application of a methodology of creative non-violence and equity-creation, reducing fear and insecurity on all sides, and providing a deep-seated security structure for a lasting and permanent peace between two independent, secure, non-violent, autonomous and sovereign states, Israel and Palestine. IIPSGP welcomes creative feedback and discussion and letters of support for the proposal.
- Ceasefire and military disengagement on all sides
- Hamas rocket firing ceases, Israel withdraws forces from Gaza
- UN peacekeeping force deployed to Gaza to prevent any future incursion by Israeli military and to supervise disarmament of Hamas rockets and other violent attacks against Israelis
- Hamas tunnels to cease weapons smuggling, under UN supervision
- Hamas and Palestinian authority to issue declaration of Nonviolence pledging they will work for independent Palestinian state through solely nonviolent and political and democratic means
- Parties which advocate aggression and indiscriminate violence against Israel disallowed from standing in Palestinian elections; parties which advocate aggression and indiscriminate violence against Palestine and Gaza barred from standing in elections in Israel.
- Israel and Palestinian authorities to begin negotiations for the establishment of an independent state of Palestine, comprising both the West bank and Gaza
- Commonwealth begins discussion with Palestine to admit her to membership once independence is agreed
- Declaration of independent Palestine, with treaty of perpetual peace signed between Palestinian and Israeli governments
- Palestine joins the Commonwealth of nations as the 54th member nation
- Consortium of Commonwealth countries (Canada, Australia, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand etc.) fund building of a sea port for Palestine at Gaza and an airport, and also give assistance on policing, law, education and other development assistance, plus build a fast railway link for goods and peoples between Ramallah and Gaza; European Union also assists with this infrastructure development work
- Development of peace educational work between Israel and Palestine, with production of joint textbooks for use in schools throughout both countries, telling the whole of modern history from a perspective oriented towards hte peaceful resolution of conflicts
- Other Middle Eastern countries support and engage with this bilateral peace process, and welcome Palestine into their family of nations, but refrain from weapons or arms assistance, and also add their signatures to the treaty of perpetual between Israel and Palestine
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East develops work further, with national committees in each member nation of the Middle East, and with support from broad coalitions of secular and spiritual leaders, scientists, academics and philosophers and educators; works to foster social solidarity and community and to heal divisions based on “us and them” mentality
- The reopening of the Golden Gate, with the right to visit Temple Mount afforded to all genuine spiritual peace pilgrims from throughout the planet, including not only all Jews, Christians and Muslims worldwide, but also from all other faiths, but only if they take an oath of non-violence and sign a pledge to that effect – Golden Gate to be reopened amid a splendid interfaith peace gathering and a large peace tent erected on the top of Temple Mount
- Declaration and Oath of Nonviolence taken by heads of all faith traditions on the planet affirming their followers will refrain from attacking, hurting or killing each other’s faith members. Signing ceremony to take place at reopening of Golden Gate, inside the peace tent. Participations to include elders of all the following traditions: Jews (all denominations), Christians (all denominations), Muslims (all denominations), Jains, Hindus, Sikhs, Sufis, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, pagan, primal, Amerindian (Hopi, Navaho, Cherokee etc.), Shamans, Yezidis, Ismaili, Druze, New Age, Druid, Bahai, Humanists, Kahuna, Taoists, Confucianists, Zen, Shinto, Bonpo, Australian Aboriginals, Maoris, African primal religions, Wicca, Kabbalists, Runic followers (Asatru), Romany, freemasons (all denominations) etc. – as all itemised and listed in the Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical traditions, listed on line athttp://www.educationaid.net/ptableAll faith traditions of all tribes of mankind… plus major interfaith organisations such as Parliament of Religions, World Congress of Faiths etc also invited.
- Turkey plays lead role in establishing a Middle East Union (MEU) as a complementary and sister organisation the European Union. All Middle Eastern nations are invited to join, including Palestine and Israel. The founding articles of the MEU include a perpetual pledge that all member nations will not engage in violence against one another, but rather seek to assist one another with mutual trade and cooperation etc.
- Israel also invited to join the Commonwealth, as the 55th member nation
- MEU and EU jointly, with UN and UNESCO, and ISESCO and World Association of Universities and other academic, scientific and educational bodies, implement serious programme of research into peace in the cultural and philosophical and religious and intellectual traditions of Middle Eastern cultures and countries; funding made available for each Middle Eastern university to develop programmes in Peace Studies and Peace Research, drawing on the deep faith heritage and sophisticated intellectual and scientific heritage of all parts of the region.
The IIPSGP Peace Plan, is presented in the video: IIPSGP Director Dr Thomas Daffern comments on the Gaza crisis 21 July (available to watch, in 4 parts, on You Tube channel IIPSGP1)
In 2014 Thomas visited Turkey to address a Sufi gathering in Istanbul, where he was an invited keynote speaker at the Knowledge Book annual gathering, where several thousands of Sufis from Turkey and around the world. He also explored Istanbul in detail and visited many of the historic sites of ottoman and Byzantine history. This talk is available on the IIPSGP YouTube channel at IIPSGP1.
Foreseeing the coming breakdown in Syria, Thomas authored a publication entitled Why We Need a Peace Policy for Syria. He contacted the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to propose the UK host mediation talks aimed at getting religious leaders from across Syria to sign a ceasefire and peace declaration. This work is ongoing, and the book can be accessed here: http://www.lulu.com/shop/thomas-daffern/why-we-need-a-peace-policy-for-syria/paperback/product-20941556.html
Another religious tradition that Thomas has been studying for many years is that of Zoroastrianism, which has played a key role in determining the eschatological expectations and beliefs of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic faiths, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN ZOROASTRIAN RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of Zoroastrian philosophy and Persian history for A level in Ancient History, Brighton, 1975; continued studies of Zoroastrian thought whilst in Canada 1977-1981; further study of Persian and Zoroastrian historiography as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988; detailed studies of Zoroastrian esotericism and its impact on Greek and Roman religious thought; studies of Zoroastrian impacts on Cathar and Bogomil dualism and the Magical traditions of Western Hermeticism etc. (ongoing) studies of discovery of Zoroastrianism among European Orientalists and savants in Enlightenment era and beyond (Voltaire, Duperron, Ramsay et al) and its impact on history of European philosophy (Nietzsche, Hegel etc.); detailed study of impact of Zoroastrian thought on Sufi and Islamic traditions (Suhrawardi, Henri Corbin, Sayid Hussein Nasr etc.) and on origins of Christian thought and angelology (Gershom Scholem etc.) and on the History of Judaism (Neusner etc.); undertook detailed study of images of wisdom in the eschatology of different faiths, including Zoroastrianism; detailed study of Zoroastrian images of time and periodisation of history in relation to the redemptive action of the Saoshyant; detailed study of impact of Zoroastrianism on evolution of Greek philosophy (from pre-Socratics and the Pythagoreans onwards); detailed studies of the Gathas and the language of the ancient Zoroastrian texts and their relationship to Sanskrit; studies of the impact of Zoroastrian ideas on the formation of the Bodhisattva ideals of Mahayana Buddhism etc.
Teaching classes on Zoroastrianism on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Zoroastrianism for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Zoroastrianism for University of Oxford 1997-2000
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Considerable teaching experience of the history of Zoroastrian in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 2012 especially in the context of the A level philosophy syllabus concerning the historical origins of philosophy out of the matrix of the Greco Persian wars. Convening special symposium on Iranian-Western Philosophy at Castle of the Muses, Scotland, September 2012, with visitors including the President of the Zoroastrian World Fellowship.
Visitor to Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Hampstead, London (close to Freud Museum); launched Interfaith Peace Journal (The Muses Journal) at an interfaith meeting there in 1993;
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued good collection of Zoroastrian texts, translations, scholarly works, academic papers covering various schools of Zoroastrianism; User of libraries with Zoroastrian collections especially SOAS, Theosophical Society, British Library, London Library
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY:
Participated in Zoroastrian fire worship service at Fire Temple, London; private Zoroastrian rituals with friends.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS:
Numerous Zoroastrian friends and colleagues including the chief librarian and Zoroastrian House, worked closely with Jehanghir Sarosh (Zoroastrian) in World Conference on Religion and Peace; with Paul Naderi (Zoroastrian from Persia) and with Zerbanoo Gifford (Zoroastrian from India) as special adviser to her Interfaith Centre project.
On his visit to Israel in 2011, Thomas called for the collective reopening of the Golden Gate in Jerusalem as a peace sign to the nations. The proposal is simple – at present, the Eastern Gate of the Old City of Jerusalem is permanently closed – bricked up in fact. According to ancient legend this gate will only be reopened when the true Messiah comes to Jerusalem, and will usher in a time of peace and justice for all mankind. There will be celebrations and reconciliation and a time of universal happiness. The problem of course it that the three main monotheistic religions of the middle east, Judaism, Islam and Christianity all more or less disagree about the exact timing and implications of this messianic event. Judaism has teachings locked inside its mystical traditions that pertain to this event but the exact details of when and where remain unknown and perhaps unknowable. Some more secular Jews also disagree that the whole idea of a Messiah is any longer viable or useful. Christians believe that Jesus Christ was the Messiah and that he entered Jerusalem through this gate on several occasions. They believe that Christ will indeed return to “judge the living and the dead” and usher in the era of the messianic kingdom. Muslims also believe that Jesus was indeed the Messiah, and agree that he will return to earth, and come once more to Jerusalem, and enter through this gate, but this time he will be accompanied by Muhammad, and they will both return through this gate to “judge the living and the dead.”
Many different groups of Christians, Jews and Muslims all interpret these events differently, and also disagree about when and how exactly they will take place. There is common consensus about only two things: 1) The Golden Gate will be opened when the Messianic era will be inaugurated 2) This will be a time of justice and peace for the region and for the whole world.The Golden Gate project can be summed up very simply: it is time for us as humanity as a whole to open this gate together, to clear away this blocked energy and to make a stand for holistic peace together, on behalf of all mankind, and for a group of representative religious and spiritual leaders from all mankind: Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Sufi, Buddhist, Hindu, Bahai, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Pagan and Primal religions, American Indian, Hopi, Mayan, Shamans, Yoga practitioners, Shinto, Druid, Jain, Humanist, Scientific, New Age etc. to enter this gate symbolically on behalf of all mankind, and in so doing to give a pledge that we are ready to take a new step forward as planetary leaders and to work for lasting peace together until it is finally achieved.
This proposal has originated out of the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East, an international NGO project, set up and administered by the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. This is an academic body based in the UK, which specializes in both peace studies and comparative global philosophy. It has long pioneered work in interfaith peace building. Its website is www.educationaid.net/ IIPSGP launched this project as a public proposal in April 2011, following a visit to the region by IIPSGP Director, and is calling for associates and partners, groups and individuals, from NGO’s and spiritual and religious bodies throughout the Middle East and worldwide who support this project, to come forward and get involved. Further details can be found here:
Unfortunately, since launching the project, the political situation in Jerusalem and Israel and Palestine has worsened, and with the rise of ISIL we are now seeing a kind of barbaric violence unleashed in the region that is the complete anti-thesis of all that the Golden Gate project stands for. Unless and until such simplistic and violent monolatrous attitudes can be transmuted and transformed into a more tolerant, loving and compassionate worldview, in harmony with the authentic teaching at the heart of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, as well as all other world faiths, there is little prospect that opening the Golden Gate at this time would do anything except over-excite angry and violent extremists yet further. First then, we must concentrate on a planetary wide educational endeavour to advance interfaith understanding, tolerance, reason and scientific and spiritual enlightenment, before we can hope to have sufficient maturity to reopen this gate in this current generation’s time frame. As Kafka said: “The Messiah will only come when he is no longer necessary”.
In addition to many years of studying religions, Thomas has been deeply engaged in the study of the history and philosophy of science throughout his busy academic career, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THE SCIENTIFIC TRADITION
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of history and philosophy of science at Bristol University 1975-76 (with Prof Stefan Korner); continued research into the history and philosophy of science in Canada 1977-1981; Detailed study of the history of medicine and neurology in London while working at the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, Bloomsbury 1982-1984. Study of scientific history and philosophy continued as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988 with specialist papers covering history of philosophy in Europe 400 BC to now, including detailed studies of Plato’s ideas on epistemology, Aristotelian philosophy and science; detailed studies of European History from 1500 to now including the scientific renaissance and enlightenment; attended lectures and courses at London School of Economics, Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine; participated in seminars at Warburg Institute on history of renaissance and mediaeval science; Detailed work and research on the contribution of the scientific tradition to peace and conflict resolution as part of the work as Research Development Officer for Initiative for Peace Studies in the University of London; continuing writing, research and publication on scientific maters, including history, philosophy and future of science; proposer of 400th anniversary project to celebrate the 1624 publication of the Advancement of Learning by Sir Francis Bacon for 2024. Detailed scientific studies on the nature and structure of language, philology and grammar; detailed studies on cosmology, gravity and Newtonian theory; detailed studies on evolutionary theory, Darwin and Wallace relations, and research into the evolution of consciousness and transpersonal psychology. Organiser of the Wallace Darwin Symposium as part of the Darwin Festival, in February 2005 and founder of Annual Wallace Memorial Lectures, 2007 onwards. Contributor to book published from the Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana, on the History and Future of Science. Detailed studies in the history and philosophy of the social sciences, including sociology, economics, political theory and the sociology of knowledge; current work involves studies in comparative epistemology, scientific methodology and the transpersonal. Just finally major philosophical treatise entitled Being and Knowledge including large parts on the philosophy of science (9 volumes – in publication).
TEACHING: Teaching classes on History of Science and Philosophy on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000;
Teaching classes on History of Science and Philosophy for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on History of Science, Medicine and Philosophy for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Speaker at symposium of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, Coventry, 1991 on the history of medical groups and peace campaigning.
Organised and Co-Chaired study seminar at House of Lords on the work of Science and Peace Policy (1995)
Taught course on Ecology and Scientific Philosophies of Nature for Birkbeck College, University of London 1995-6
Teaching Philosophy A level Philosophy courses including units on epistemology and the philosophy of science.
Extensive teaching experience of all aspects of scientific history and culture in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire, Sussex. Scotland and internationally. (2001 – 2012).
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience on all aspects of science, religion and philosophy in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001-2012); speaker in India at symposium on peace education with Prof Abdul Kalaam, space scientist; attended Astronomy day at St Mary’s Calne with visiting cosmonaut (Dr Martynov) from Moscow discussing planned manned mission to Mars. Organiser and tutor of occasional seminars for the Global Green University (Wales). Participant in International Dignity and Humiliation Studies Conference in Berlin, 2006. Organised three Symposia at the Castle of the Muses on the Centre for the Study of Divine intelligence involving debates between different scientific thinkers and philosophers interested in discussing the hypothesis that there may after all be a Divine intelligence behind the universe we know, see and love.
VISITS: to numerous scientific museums and research institutes, including in Florence, London, Paris, Israel, Moscow, Greece, Rome, Venice, Berlin, Cambridge, Oxford, Delhi, San Franscisco, Washington DC, Toronto, Montreal, Cordoba, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Ljubljana etc. Attended Royal Society meetings on the public understanding of Science in London. Travelled in 33 countries worldwide visiting scientific and educational institutions and teaching and conducting research on the history of science, philosophy and religions. Visited many sites of special scientific interest, e.g. Woolsthorpe Manor (Newton), Down House (Darwin), Broadstone Cemetery (Wallace) and innumerable scientific museums worldwide etc. Visited the Josef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana in 2008 and held a joint seminar with colleagues there on science and peace in 2008. Participated (in absentia) with a paper to the Josef Stefan International Conference on Neurosciences, Information and Philosophy, 2010 (subsequently published). Visited the Wieizmann Institute for Advanced Scientific Research, Israel, 2008.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library over the years covering all aspects of the history and philosophy of science, including psychology, medicine, healing, chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, ecology, geography, astronomy; philosophy of science, sociology of science, sociology of knowledge; systems theory, peace sciences, anthropology, conflict theory, history of technology, including information and communications technology. Many happy hours spent in scientific libraries worldwide. Early user of the internet for scientific exchanges (1989 onwards).
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Longstanding member of the Conflict Research Society (and former information officer), member of the British Society of the History of Mathematics and the British Society for the History of Science; organized Symposium on Dr John Dee and the development of Elizabethan Science; member of the Wessex Research Network and speaker on Transpersonal Psychohistory and Peace Research. Long time member of Scientists for Global Responsibility. Founder of the Global Green University as a research network for the synthesis of scientific, academic and spiritual education and research. Founder of A.R. Wallace Memorial Lectures 2007 – ongoing. Member of the board of the International Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Network. Co-convener of the International Peace Research Peace Theories Commission from 2006-2008. Member of the Board of the European Peace Research Association (EUPRA) 2006-2008. Presented an award for contributions to advancing the peace sciences by the former President of India and founder of the Indian Space Programme, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, 2008. As a philosopher and historian of science, Thomas In 2007 founded the A.R. WALLACE OCCASIONAL MEMORIAL LECTURE, which took place in Poole, Dorset, where Wallace died and is buried, commemorating the creative relationship between Charles Darwin and Alfred Russell Wallace, the co-discoverers of the theory of natural selection underlying the evolutionary transformation of living species. Long time member of the Scientific and Medical Network.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS, INFLUENCES: Prof Cedric Smith, Prof Maurice Wilkins, Prof Tom Kibble, Christopher Meredith and numerous colleagues involved in the work of the Initiative for Peace Studies in the University of London, Prof Girusov, Prof Paul Smoker, Prof Kenneth Boulding, Prof Johan Galtung, Dr. Herb Blumberg, George Blaker, Prof Adam Curle, Prof Richard Falk, Institute of Psychohistory, Ken Wilber, Caroline Webb, Prof Sayeed Hussein Nasr, Dr Zaki Badawi, Sir Karl Popper, Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Dr Charles Burnett, Prof H. Skolimowski, Prof. Elise Boulding, Dr. Evelin Lindner, Former President Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam. etc.
In Thomas’s publication SELECTED PHILOSOPHICAL AND HISTORICAL ESSAYS 1985-2005 (www.lulu.com/content/606338) many of his early writings are gathered together, ranging from historical studies, peace studies, intellectual history, educational theory, to studies in the esoteric history of religions.
In his 7 volumes of autobiographical studies entitled MUSINGS: AN AUTOBIOSOPHY OF HALF OF LIFE DEDICATED TO POETRY, PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION, PEACE AND SPIRIT (www.lulu.com/content/1864405) he has explored something of the personal narrative of his intellectual journey from 1956 to 2014. Most recently he has published the 7th volume covering the years 2009-2014:
Another of recent his works, ENLIGHTENMENTS is one of the few book yet published to examine in detail the teachings on enlightenment in the world’s great spiritual and philosophical traditions. It is based on over 30 years of teaching and research experience and is intended to help lay the foundations for a global pluralistic civilisation at peace with itself in which each person alive can develop their own spiritual awareness in a world free from dogmatic imposition. (Details at http://www.lulu.com/content/2264852)
A further, complementary volume, called THE PHILOSOPHICAL INTERPRETATION OF HISTORY examines each of the major philosophical schools East and West and compares and contrasts their views of ultimate historical reality. He searches for the notion of an underlying common wisdom and finds this in the idea of a transpersonal historiography, which he proposes as a methodology of historical work which can reconcile and harmonise the best of Eastern and Western philosophies of history (Details at http://www.lulu.com/content/2264549)
His further work WISDOM AFFAIRS: TOWARDS A CARTOGRAPHY OF ENLIGHTENMENT, ENLOVEMENT AND JOYISM FOR WISDOM LOVERS is an exploration of the powers and dynamics of human relationships, as a vehicle for the advancement of wisdom, learning and enlightenment on planet earth. It is a manifesto for the liberation of mankind from false desires and towards the realisation of authentic nirvana and enlightenment within the context of human relational existence. (Details from http://www.lulu.com/content/2089562)
He has also written and published a play, based on the ancient mystery drama of the mediaeval world, THE MEMORY OF LIGHT, with the co-authorship of Krystyna Stevenson, who is currently involved in the project to develop Fawley Court near Henley on Thames as a major educational and retreat centre. The essential premise of the play is that Dionysus can save the world from actual destruction, through effecting a dramatic catharsis. The Memory of Light is neither comedy nor tragedy, but includes elements of both, as a classic tragic-comedy. It is also a deliberate homage to the Miracle plays of the Middle Ages, in which Creation, Redemption and the Last Judgement were performed in the cycles of York and Chester, and which saw the rebirth of theatre in Britain, after the long dark ages. (Details from http://www.lulu.com/content/2211834)
His reference work BIOGRAPHICAL ENCYCLOPAEDIA A – Z OF TRANSPERSONAL THEORISTS, HISTORIANS, PSYCHOLOGISTS AND PHILOSOPHERS 1945-2001 is a further study which is the first attempt to create a biographical dictionary of the lives and works of selected transpersonal thinkers in the 20th century. Ranging widely across disciplines, the work includes philosophers, historians, psychologists, educators, artists, psychohistorians, religious experts, theologians, Christians, Sufis, Kabbalists, Buddhists, Hindus, humanists, mystics all of whom have shown an interest in trying to understand the spiritual or transpersonal side of human nature. Many of the leading Jungian thinkers of modern times are listed here. The work seeks to provide reference material for the development of a new sub-field of history, proposed by the author, namely “transpersonal history.” (Details at http://www.lulu.com/content/605376)
His UNIVERSAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS AND SAGES is a unique reference calendar, developed from many years of teaching religious studies and philosophy, which includes saints and sages for every day of the calendar year. Unlike other such Calendars, it includes saints and sages from every religion and faith tradition, including the following: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, Wicca, Druidry, Shamanism, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Freudian thought, Bahaism, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Kabbalah, Sufism etc. (Detailed from http://www.lulu.com/content/450879) The work follows on from his core argument – that the Saints of the planet need to inter-communicate and discuss together their understandings of wisdom, peace and truth, before their rival followers succeed in destroying the world around them.
As a dual Canadian-British citizen, he founded in 1997 THE BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH INTERFAITH NETWORK FOR PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE (B.C.I.N.P.N.) Some years in the making, this project was an initiative undertaken in 1997 by the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy following the launch of the MULTIFATH AND MULTICULTURAL MEDIATION SERVICE (1996). Some months of preparatory work finally came to fruition during the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Edinburgh, 1997, when IIPSGP and the MMMS organised a special meeting to launch officially the Commonwealth Interfaith Network, on Friday October 24, 1997, United Nations Day, at New College, University of Edinburgh. The purpose of launching the BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH INTERFAITH NETWORK FOR PEACE AND NONVIOLENCE was to provide an international network for persons and organisations active in any of the 53 Commonwealth Countries, in the United Kingdom, or in any of the UK Overseas Dependent territories, concerned with advancing better interfaith understanding, and to act as a forum for advanced ethical, philosophical and religious dialogue and educational studies, and to advance the prospects of international peace and well being. The network has built a network for good interfaith relations with many Commonwealth countries, including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Canada, New Zealand, Malta, Cyprus, South Africa etc. As founder, Thomas Daffern has travelled and taught throughout different parts of India on 4 separate occasions (Rajasthan, Dharamsala, Delhi, Madras, Pondicherry, Rajasamand, Jaipur, Ladnun, Bangalore etc.)
In 2008 he called for the establishment of an annual COUNCIL OF MONARCHS to be established on planet earth as a framework body for giving guidance and wisdom to mankind on behalf of the reigning monarchs of the global community. The purpose of their coming together as a council would be so that they can be more effective as a council than they can be individually. They could add their voices collectively to the work that needs to be done on the planet and the achievement of certain collective policy aims. These could be, firstly, eliminating the need for wars between nation states or their respective dominions, in effect they would act as a peace pact; the members of the Council would pledge their countries to non-violence against each other, and would set up a mechanism that in the unlikely event that any such outbreaks of violence occurred, it would be referred automatically to an arbitration mechanism established within the Council whereby other monarchs not involved in the dispute could facilitate its solution. Secondly, it would also act as a mediating forum for disputes between other nations which are not monarchies, and where countries may be sadly locked in cycles of war and violence. The Council could send mediation teams with their backing and support to help solve any dispute. A formal letter and Policy Document was sent to each single reigning Monarch on earth, written by Thomas C. Daffern. In ancient times, Druids had the power to appoint Kings and Queens, and to call them to account if they were misbehaving – and there existed considerable mutual respect between the monarch and the Druidic classes of society. This is true in all cultures and religions, where the Druids might be called something else – prophets, seers, Brahmins, Sages, and Priests etc. Given the anarchy existing on planet earth at present, and the inability of governments to effectively tackle the global problems affecting our planetary community, not least the environmental and security threats affecting mankind, such a council might help prevent future global conflicts.
In addition to all this, Thomas has been deeply involved in the study of education, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN THEORY AND PRACTICE OF EDUCATION
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced serious study of Education and educational philosophy when launching Philosophers for Peace in London (1984) used Institute of Education Library; continued with research as part of History degree, including coverage of history of education; on graduating, secured employment at Institute of Education (University of London) examining feasibility of establishing a UK Institute of Peace Studies as part of University of London; undertook comprehensive study of peace education, peace research and peace studies in school sector, and higher education and research institutions worldwide; travelled extensively, interviewing professor , teachers and students of peace studies; initiated and taught on course on Conflict Management in The Classroom and the Wider World as part of PGCE training at the Institute (as part of a team including colleagues from various parts of the Institute of Education); trained as Schools Mediator in California (Community Boards) in 1992; taught in Southwark Secondary School in 1992-4 as first person in UK to introduce peer mediation schemes into the country; undertook detailed study of educational theories and practices in different faith communities and gave course on this subject at Birkbeck College (Knowledge Education and Scholarship in the World’s Religious Traditions; published various academic papers and articles in reference encyclopaedias on peace education, global education.
TEACHING: Teaching classes on History and Philosophy of Education on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000; for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999; for University of Oxford 1997-2000; teaching at Gregynog (University of Wales) course on Cultural and Intellectual History of Wales; Teaching at Shrewsbury Museum and Montgomery Institute (Cultural and Intellectual History of the Welsh Marches; taught courses on the History of Education at the Muslim College, London;
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Continuing involvement with the philosophy of education; served as Head of Humanities in Sherwood Hall School and contributed to discussions on Educational Theory and Practice for a school in special measures; submitted evidence to the British Government Inquiry into the Crisis into Behaviour in Schools; organizing a special seminar on the Greening of Education Cae Mabon in Snowdonia October 2005; publication of the Muses Journal: an International Journal of Education for Peace and Global Responsibility (Issue No.11, 2012); taught as Head of Religious Studies and Philosophy at Poole Grammar School and a Teacher of Critical Thinking and Religious Studies at St Mary’s Calne, Wiltshire. Teaching numerous adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of education, pedagogy and philosophy of education in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2012. Devised Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions and devised website to display it available to pupils and teachers worldwide, as a pedagogical service to all who teach or study interfaith education or comparative global philosophy. Proposer of Educationaid as a global educational charity to raise funds for schooling and education worldwide and developed website (www.educationaid.net) for that purpose.
VISITS: Teachers College, Columbia University; Ministry of Pedagogy and L’Institut of Educational Research, Paris; Maison des Sciences de L’Homme (Paris); UNESCO Headquarters (Paris); United Nations Headquarters (New York) to address Committee on Role of Universities in Peace Education; invited to address educational conferences in India (Rajasthan, Punjab) in 1995 and 2001; visit to Ireland for Irish Conference on Peace Education (1993) and interviewed for post of Tutor in Peace Studies, Trinity College, Dublin (2000); invited to address Conference on Peace Education and Education for Nonviolence, Ladnun University, Rajasthan, India (1995); as Coordinator, School of Nonviolence, Gandhi Foundation, visited numerous centres throughout the UK to organise seminars, classes etc. in nonviolence education 1994-1999; visited World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, 1995, and attended various workshops on role of education in social development and combating poverty, unemployment, conflict etc. Attended International Teachers for Peace Congress, Paris (UNESCO) 1992. Visited Vatican Library 2012. Key note lecturer at educational conference in Israel April 2011 about spiritual education and peace. Awarded Anuvrat Ahimsa Award for International Peace by Indian educational foundation in May 2011, presented by Governor of Rajasthan.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: Accrued large library of educational texts, classics and curriculum development and resource materials, plus very large archive of research materials relating to peace education and education in human rights, ecology, comparative philosophy and religious education worldwide; studies in numerous libraries worldwide dealing with education, including: University of London Libraries, British Library, National Library of Wales, National Institute of Educational Research (Moscow), Institute of Pedagogical Research, Paris; Universities of: Oslo, California (Berkeley), Sussex, Bristol, Paris, Oxford, Cambridge, Delhi, Ladnun (Rajasthan) etc.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Active involvement as an educator and teacher, in informal and formal educational structures, since 1984 (launching of Philosophers for Peace); served on numerous committees concerned with educational development projects; worked as Research Development Officer, Institute of Education from 1989-1991; involved with innumerable educational projects and initiatives emphasising interfaith education, global citizenship, peace studies etc. Served as member of International Association of University Presidents / United Nations Dept of Arms Control Joint Committee on Peace Studies; served as Executive Committee member and Coordinator of School of Nonviolence for Gandhi Foundation 1994-1999; invited to serve as Vice Chancellor, New World Academy, 1995 – now; founded Global Green University in 1999 as informal high educational project dealing with advancing ecological education on a cross-disciplinary basis outside the formal higher education sector; launched Pagan Academic and Education Network in 1998 to focus minds on the profound contributions made by the world’s pagan and primal religious traditions in the past 10 thousand years and more of human history and to provide an educational forum for colleagues to meet and exchange experiences; continuing to serve as Director, International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy as honorary (unpaid) post; organised an co-chaired over 30 meetings in Parliament on Ethics and Global Responsibility issues, including education and educational policy from 1993-2003; attended International Network of Philosophers of Education (INPE) conference at Institute of Education 1991; joined numerous educational bodies dealing with specialist aspects of the curriculum including: International Studies Association, Political Studies Association, Council on Education in World Citizenship, British Society for the History of Education etc. Proposed EDUCATION AID as worldwide funding campaign to raise funds for education worldwide.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS: Inspired by many mentors, teachers, friends and colleagues over the years: Tony Weaver, peace educator; David Maxwell; Margarita Rendell; Graham Haydon; Prof Norman Graves; Michael Totterdell; Jagdish Gundara, Sir Peter Newsam, Prof G. Hosking, Prof Gavin Flood, Betty Reardon, Prof Elise Boulding, Sanaa Osseiran, Dr Laszlo Peter, Veslemoy Wiese, Johan Galtung, Prof. Hans Kung, Lord Combermere, Rabbi Hugo Gryn, Prof Cedric Smith, Dr Hugh Miall, Dr. Frederico Mayor, Prof Paul Smoker, Sir George Trevelyan, Lord Ennals, Ganadipathi Tulsi, Surur Hoda etc
Thomas values especially the creative energy of like minded people exploring and deepening our common understanding and search for truth through networking and personal interaction and mutual inspiration. Among other new projects in hand for IIPSGP under his direction are: the establishment of an Interfaith Peace Museum and the overall inspiration of creative artistic and scientific work which can help give birth to a peaceful world culture based on love and cooperation rather than militarism, fear and greed. Thomas has lectured and travelled in about 33 countries throughout Europe, Russia, Scandinavia, the Americas, North Africa, India and the Middle East. Father to three daughters (Helen, Sophia and Shanti-Grace. From 2003 to 2009 he lived (when not busy teaching elsewhere) in a secluded philosophical retreat centre near Llanfair Caereinon in Powys (reputed birthplace of Taliesin, Bard of Britain) over the border from Shropshire into Wales, surrounded by glorious countryside, close to Mitchells Fold Stone Circle. From 2010 – 2015 he has lived at the Castle of the Muses in Argyll, Scotland. He is a broad minded philosopher, poet and teacher who loves all faiths and philosophies that seek to understand and manifest the common and universal Good. He is an expert in research techniques and methodologies on all aspects of history, religious studies, global philosophy and transpersonal psychology. As an author he has published widely on such issues, and as a philosopher has long argued for a common underlying ethical wisdom tradition behind all faith traditions, which can provide an essential underlying substratum on which to base a peaceful future for mankind. As a teacher and lecturer in schools and Universities he has long proposed that education systems and curricula around the world should include more in-depth study of the world’s spiritual and intellectual heritage, in which tolerance for the variety of religious and spiritual teachings of mankind can be developed, and for a multiple harmonisation including scientific, humanistic and philosophical approaches to reality, combined with metaphysical and spiritual approaches – with an underlying emphasis on peace education for global citizenship.
In 2009 Thomas Daffern, whilst travelling through the Balkans on returning from the Middle East, during the time of the conflicts underway in the Caucasus and Georgia, and tensions between Ukraine and Russia, conceived of the idea of the European Union Mediation Service, namely, that a formal, preemptive and mandatory mediation service should be built into the fabric of the European Union, by special Treaty, to deal with outbreaks of conflicts involving either European Union members, other European nations, or neighbours thereof. The idea was communicated to President Sarkozy and President Barroso, and is in the process of development as a political peacebuilding project with considerable practical potential in today’s troubled climate. This project is still relevant in today’s European Union, with huge difficulties over permeable borders and mass immigration due to wars in nearby or neighbouring countries. Exactly these difficulties were predicted in 2009. Although winning the Nobel Peace Prize and making some peace moves, the EU still hasn’t moved to set up the EUMS as an official body as per the proposal. The UK’s debate about whether to leave the EU would be less likely to vote yes if the EU actually became a genuine peacemaking body instead of an inept body opening its borders to potential terrorists and criminals, as well as genuine refugees, fleeing from wars we could in fact be preventing and solving through mediation. See http://www.lulu.com/shop/thomas-daffern/towards-a-european-union-mediation-service/ebook/product-17554308.html
Notwithstanding all the above work, perhaps Thomas could best be summed as a philosopher, and his life-long interest in philosophical studies have remained a constant theme throughout his life so far, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN PHILOSOPHY
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of philosophy during A level in Ancient History, Brighton (1974/5); Continued with study of philosophy whilst an undergraduate philosophy student at Bristol University (1976/7 but left due to becoming interested in global philosophical and religious traditions and found the curriculum too narrow); conducted comprehensive study of the history of global philosophical and religious traditions in Canada 1977-1981; continued this work in London 1981-1991; undertook courses in Analytical Psychology, and Transpersonal Psychology at City University, London 1982/3; as part of degree in Modern History included paper on History of European Political Philosophy covering major figures in European political philosophy; founded philosophy Society at School of Eastern European and Slavonic Studies, University of London 1985-1988; launched Philosophers for Peace (1983) and hosted and chaired many meetings in London examining all aspects of the philosophy of peace, seeking to reconcile religious and secular approaches to peace and social thought (1984-present); launched International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy in 1991 at University of London after writing feasibility study into the creation of an academic center for peace studies in the University of London; recommended that until such times as funding became available for a comprehensive School of Peace Studies at the University of London, the Institute should serve as a specialist body working on the philosophical causes and solutions to conflict in the UK and internationally, including the underlying religious aspects of conflict and violence; organised 35 seminars in the House of Lords from 1993-2000 on Global Ethics and Peace with invited representatives from all different faith communities, nationalities and political traditions (continuing). In 1994 he attended the Commonwealth Day Interfaith Observance in Westminster Abbey, in the Presence of Queen Elizabeth 2nd and many other leaders, plus representatives of the children of all Commonwealth nations. Soon after this he met Prince Philip at another interfaith function in St James’s palace and received his personal congratulations for his interfaith work, as a Trustee of the International Sacred Literature Trust, which was publishing faith classics in modern English translations. He attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Edinburgh, 1997, and founded the Commonwealth Interfaith Network. Publication of many essays on different aspects of philosophical studies. Concluded and presented academic doctoral thesis entitled Towards a Transpersonal History of the Search for Peace During the Post World War Two Era 1945-2001, examined and awarded in 2008 from the University of London. Taught philosophy and religious studies successfully at secondary school level since 2001, pioneering innovative apprpoaches to teaching.
|On Paradigms, Global Philosophy And Peace – St Petersburg Conference – August 1995||Philosophical paper presented in Russia|
|Towards A Critique Of Marx – From The Economic And Philosophic Manuscripts||Critical review of shortcomings in Marx’s work from a philosophical perspective|
|Holistic Images Of Peace In Andalusian Spirituality||A study of the Zohar, Ibn Arabi and Ramon Lull, first presented at a UNESCO Symposium in Cordoba, 1991|
|“Towards The Prevention Of Nuclear Omnicide: Philosophy As A Way Of Healing”||Paper given to Conference In St Louis, USA on historical links between philosophy, peacemaking and healing|
|“On The Potential Contributions Of Philosophy And Peace And World Order Studies To The Prevention Of Omnicide” 1990||Paper to Philosophers For Peace Conference, Institute of Philosophy, Moscow (1990)|
|Multilingual Dictionary For Multifaith And Multicultural Mediation, Peace And Global Philosophy
||The MULTILINGUAL DICTIONARY FOR MULTIFAITH AND MULTICULTURAL MEDIATION, PEACE AND GLOBAL PHILOSOPHY is a research tool for all scholars and students and philosophers interested in languages and philology. It is the first ever published attempt to compile a comparative philosophical dictionary of terms for absolute concepts, which vary from culture to culture and religion to religion, of philosophically charged words such as God, Being, virtue, love, truth, beauty, power, existence, peace, knowledge, wisdom, mind, consciousness, magic, holy, spirit etc. It has a specific irenic purpose as a tool of inter-cultural understanding and reconciliation, on the propoposition that through studying one another’s words and concepts and ideas in their own vocabularies, rival spiritual and ideological systems might replace intellectual hostility and feuding with study, dialogue and mutual understanding.|
|Towards The Intellectual, Educational And Cultural History Of The Search For Peace During The Post World War Two Era 1945-2001: The potential contribution of transpersonal theory to peace historiography and multifaith and multicultural conflict resolution and education||A contribution to historical scholarship, philosophy of history and the specifics of conflict resolution dynamics, seen through the lenses of philosophy, theology, religious studies, psychology, proposing a new field “transpersonal history” – PhD thesis, University of London, awarded 2008|
|On the Funding of Political Parties: a proposal||A suggestion to transform political sleaze and corruption and replace it with a citizens voluntary levy|
|Declaration Towards a Peaceful World Through Philosophical Dialogue and Understanding, 1998||A Declaration presented to the World Congress of Philosophy, Boston, USA, 1998|
|The Global Architectonics of Wisdom: Re-Configuring Solutions to the Dilemmas of Globalisation||A critical survey of the problems and challenges of globalisation, arguing for the need to develop a global philosophical and spiritual wisdom-force as a counter to unethical and rampant commercial and militaristic globalisation|
|Religious Diversity And Human Rights, a review, 1997||A review first published in Contemporary Religions|
|Philosophical reflections on a game of football, 1998||A proposal to change the rules of football to make it a less violent and more peaceful game|
|Gender Rituals and Female Initiation in Melanesia||A Review first published in Contemporary Religions|
|World Philosophy and Peacemaking: a survey, 2003||Published in the Encyclopaedia of Global Problems, by the Russian Philosophical Association, for the World Congress of Philosophy, Istanbul, 2003|
||This book is the first yet published to examine in detail the teachings on enlightenment in the world’s great spiritual and philosophical traditions. It is based on over 30 years of teaching and research experience on the part of the author, an expert in comparative global philosophy and peace research. It is intended to help lay the foundations for a global pluralistic civilisation at peace with itself in which each person alive can develop their own spiritual awareness in a world free from dogmatic imposition.|
|The Muses Love Journal: A, Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 1 (1993)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, one for each Muse, covering reports on all kinds of creative educational work aimed at peace and enlightenment; the only academic journal in the world to consider the nature of love, compassion, altruism, agape, eros, philia and their connections with peace and conflict resolution and philosophy|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 2 (1994)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, includes an article by Chris Hogan on Charisma and Ki|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 3 (1996)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, includes an article by Chris Gilmore on Love and Learning|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 4 (1997)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, one for each Muse, with various contributions|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 5 (1998)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, includes an article by Diana Whitney on Spirituality as an Organising Principle|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 6 (1999)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, includes the first version of the Dictionary of Global Philosophy, 100 pages|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 7 (2002)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, 204 pages|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 8 (2006)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, 98 pages|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 9 (2009)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, 175 pages|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 10 (2011)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, 185 pages|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 11 (2012)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, 260 pages|
|The Muses Love Journal: A Journal for Peace and Global Responsibility Number 12 (2014)||The Institute’s Journal, divided into 9 sections, 300 pages|
|Lord Herbert of Cherbury: his life and work and significance for our times||A study of Lord Herbert’s ideas on the search for common truths behind all religions and their relevance today (talk at a Symposium organised in Lord Herbert’s honour by IIPSGP in Powys, Wales, 2009)|
|The World Congress of Philosophy 1900-2003: a history||A survey of the World Congress of Philosophy and its work|
|New Age philosophy: a critical study||A historical and conceptual study of new age ideas (lecture at Univ. of Wales)|
|Naming the Ghosts in the Peace Landscape: “Recognition”, “Sophiaphobia” and “Philiaphobia”||A paper given in Berlin in October 2005 to the European meeting of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Network, proposing the identification of a new psycho-medical problematic underlying the contemporary manifestations of cultural and intellectual disintegration, namely “sophiaphobia” (fear of wisdom) and “philiaphobia” (fear of loving).|
|Sophiaphobia||The author is proposing a revolutionary argument – that there might be some force or psycho-social blockage obstructing our evolution as so called Homo Sapiens, which gets in the way of our achieving our highest wisdom. Calling this force Sophiaphobia, the fear of wisdom, which is the opposite of Philosophy, the author examines what it is and where it comes from, speculating that it is operative in many levels and walks of society, not least inside the very institutions which are supposed to be promoting our education and intellectual welfare|
|Philological and Philosophical Contributions towards the healing and reconciliation of contemporary ideological, political and religious conflicts
|A paper produced for the pre-course programme at North East London Polytechnic, for the BA degree by Independent Study, an in-depth proposal for a degree programme of self-study aimed at political and religious reconciliation through philosophical and linguistic analysis of key contested terms in the contemporary political and religious lexicon (23 pp, 1994).|
Teaching classes on History of Philosophy on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on History of Philosophy for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on History of Philosophy for University of Oxford 1997-2000
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience on philosophy in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex. (2001 – 20011) including introduction of Philosophy and Ethics GSCE in Secondary schools and adult education in Nottinghamshire and Dorset. and teaching A Level Philosophy in Powys and Nottinghamshire and Dorset.; establishment of Philosophy club in Sherwood Hall School with visiting speakers; participation in conference of International Network on Dignity and Humiliation Studies in Berlin (September 2005) and contribution of a paper on Naming the Ghosts in the Peace Landscape: Recognition, Philiaphobia and Sophiaphobia; contributing an essay for the International PEN symposium in Macedonia on Philosophy and Literature consisting of a paper on memory, literature and philosophy; the mother of all the muses; completing for publication Selected Essays 1985 – 2005 publication date 2006 comprising selected philosophical essays published internationally over a 20 year period; gave a talk to the London group of the Sir Alistair Hardy Religious experience Research Group (2001); continued development of the work of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy; organizer of Special Commemorative Symposium to honour the work of Dr John Dee (July 2005). Convener Lord Herbert of Cherbury Symposium September 2006. Taught Philosophy and Critical Thinking in Dorset 2006-08; Wiltshire, 2009, Sussex 2010.
Attended World Congress of Philosophy, Brighton 1988
Invited to attend World Conference on the Philosophy of Peace, Moscow 1990 and elected International Coordinator of International Network of Philosophers for Peace 1990; met many Russian philosophers; Participated in the World Congress of Philosophy, 1993, Moscow; Participated in the World Congress of Philosophy in Athens, 2013.
KNOWLEDGE OF THE LITERATURE:
Amassed very large library on all aspects of history of philosophy, including ancient thought, European and global schools of philosophy (including religious philosophies detailed elsewhere); detailed knowledge of many libraries with important collections of philosophical works including: SOAS, Theosophical Society, British Library, Dr. Williams Library; Library of Congress, University of London Library, London Library, Arcane School Library, University Libraries in USA, India, Russia, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Israel, Muslim College etc.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Sometime member of numerous professional philosophical societies including: British Society for the History of Philosophy, Hegel Society, British Society for the Philosophy of Science, Royal Institute of Philosophy, The Guild of Pastoral Psychology, etc.
Founder, Philosophers and Historians for Peace (1983-present day)
International Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace (Moscow, 1991-1995)
European Coordinator, International Philosophers for Peace (1995-now)
Vice president – International Philosophers for Peace and the Prevention of Nuclear Omnicide (IPPNO)
Chair and convenor, Herbert of Chirbury Symposium, Montgomery, Powys, 2009
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS: Inspired by innumerable teachers, mentors, friends e.g. Prof H.D Lewis, Raimundo Pannikar, Arne Naess, Henryk Skolimowski, S.H. Nasr, Prof Girusov, Prof W. B Gallie, Prof John Somerville, Prof. Dzhohadze, Prof Badawi, Prof Hans Kung, Prof Gavin Flood, Prof G. Parrinder, Prof H Skolimowski, Prof Arnold Keyserling, Raymond Williams, Prof. Joseph Needham, Prof Mircea Eliade, Dr. John Hick, Wiilfred Cantwell Smith, Eric Sharpe, Kenneth Cragg, Peter Russell, Mary Daly, Prof Adrian Cunningham, Prof Ninian Smart etc.
In addition, however, Thomas’s other great love, which is history, must not be overlooked, as this passion has likewise provided a lifetime of fascinating researches, travels and adventures. In many ways Thomas has taken Herodotus as his mentor, ever since first studying his Histories for an A level in Ancient History in Brighton, in 1974-1975, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN HISTORICAL STUDIES
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of history as a child, visiting English Civil war battlefields with his father, plus many ancient churches (who had been educated at Warwick School, founded by Edward the Confessor) – see https://daffernfamily.wordpress.com for details of parents); studied history at Brighton College Junior School including classical history, Greek and Roman, Medieval and Tudor; continued at Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School and read Ancient History A level; studied History degree at University of London, studied aspects of the history of philosophy at Bristol University 1974-76, especially Plato, Spinoza, Nietzsche, Bradley and Hegelian thought, and began studying Jungian thought, to make sense of the archetypal forces behind historical events, as well as studying Buddhist history; and Druid, pagan and Sufi histories; continued studying for 4 years intensive research in the University of Calgary in which the history of religious and philosophical ideas was studied in chronological order, reading through the evolution of thought in the entirety of human history, and studying classes in paleohistory and anthropology and human evolution. Returned to London in 1981 and launched Philosophers and Historians for Peace and held meetings with numerous living intellectuals on all aspects of peace thinking needed to shift mankind away from the scourge of nuclear war, including historians. Intensive private study in London of modern history of origins of conflict and world wars in British Museum library, leading to undertaking a degree in modern History at the University of London from 1985-1988, where he undertook the studied the following topics in detail: Most of his work was centred at School of Slavonic and East European Studies. He studied Modern European History Since 1500, which was an excellent intercollegiate 2 part course, taught by lecturers from across the University system, with lectures in the Beveridge Hall in Senate House. He also studied The History Of Russia From 1856 To The Present, learning in depth about the complex vicissitude of Russian history. He also studied The History Of South Eastern Europe And The Balkans From 1800 to the present, which he found immensely challenging due to the complex patchwork of nations and ethnicities and religions in the region, small geographically, yet large in its implications for historians as a microcosm of wider global history; also a paper in the History of the Great Powers 1814-1957 which covered diplomatic history in depth during this period, and which was taught at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and introduced me to fascinating insights into the real world behind international affairs, the complex calculations which have been made over the centuries by governments, the working of foreign ministries, and their relations to other branches of government policy. He also undertook to study the History of the Cold War 1945-1954, an in depth study which counted as two full papers, in which we made much study of original documents published from diplomatic archives, governing the origin and course of the cold war, and the conflicts between the Soviet Union and the West, also between China and the west over Korea, covering in total a wide studies. He also attended lectures at Kings College Dept of War Studies to try and make sense of the tragic facts of warfare and violence in modern history. He also attended the lectures on Modern German history from 1815 to 1945, which was a fascinating and important addition to his understanding of the history of that complex nation. And lectures on Modern Polish History 1689 – present finding this a fascinating adjunct to his other studies. He also studied the History of European Political Ideas divided into two official sections, the first covering ancient and medieval intellectual history, and the second covering European political ideas from 1500 to the present day. His tutor at SSEES was Dr Laszlo Peter, and we went through the basic canon of European political philosophy from 1500 to the present. Among the topics we covered were the following: Machiavelli and Renaissance political ideas; French contractualist political theory and the religious ideas of both Protestants and Catholics in Europe at the time of the religious wars of the 16th and 17th centuries. In this we also covered thinkers such as Bodin and Hobbes their varying interpretations of sovereignty theory. We then covered the rise of liberal political theory and the impact of the enlightenment, through the works of thinkers such as John Locke, Spinoza, Hume, Kant etc. We looked at Rousseau and the rise of democratic and revolutionary theory, and at the thinking underlying the American and French revolutions, and the so called Glorious Revolution in Britain in 1688. We then moved on to consider Hegel and the impact of his ideas, in both left and right variations, and this led me down glorious avenues of private research and study, discovering thinkers such as Cieszkowski, Moses Hess et al, as well as modern commentators such as Isaiah Berlin. We then moved on to consider the ideas of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in depth, and later Marxist thinkers such as Gramsci to some extent. We also covered aspects of the history of Conservative political thought and its rise as a reaction against revolutionary statism and enforced egalitarianism. He also attended all the intercollegiate lectures from this course as well as those covering the History of European Political Thought from 450 BC to 1500 AD. He also studied World History from 1900 which covered the history of Africa, Asia, Australasia and the Americas as well as Europe and so complemented his other studies, and was taught at the School of Oriental and African Studies. After graduating with an upper second class degree (he had done too many extra papers, and had fathered two daughters en route !) he then was employed by the University to investigate the feasibility of establishing an International Institute of Peace Studies, and networked with scholars, historians, academics and intellectuals worldwide, travelling and lecturing in many countries, based in an office in Bloomsbury, and in 1991 launched the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy (IIPSGP) which continues to this day. He simultaneously registered for a Ph.D in intellectual history with the University of London and studied for this part time, continuously refining his theories and research methodologies, whilst simultaneously teaching and working, right until it was finally awarded in 2008. During the course of undertaking this research he had met numerous historians throughout the world, attended numerous historical conferences, and given papers or lectures in various academic settings (some of them being listed below). Essentially, he had been studying the role that ideas, religions, philosophies, ideologies and faiths play in causing conflicts, and hypothesizing that just as they can cause conflicts and war, so perhaps, if remodelled in some way, they might actually help cause peace and international understanding. This led to the conclusion of his thesis: that Transpersonal History is a new necessary field of historical research and analysis that draws on historical studies but also philosophy, theology, spirituality, metaphysics, esoteric thought, and transpersonal psychology, in order to help resolve inter-religious conflicts and violence. Simultaneously to completing his PhD he also did a PGCE in 2001-2002 to train as a Religious Studies and History teacher, and undertook research into the way that complex historical ideas processes and events can be taught to young minds in a school setting, and gathered very considerable research data on how contemporary historical educators are rising to this challenge. He had also remained a member of the Institute of Historical research throughout (University of London) and attended professional seminars for historians, also whilst teaching at the University of London and the University of Oxford, he attended professional training days in which advanced pedagogical research methods were often showcased.
|1989 “Towards The Semantic History Of The Federal Idea”||Study of federalism in its historical context|
|1990 “The Historical & Philosophical Connections Between The Modern Evolution Of Peace & World Order Studies And The Idea Of Federalism”||Study first given at the Lothian Foundation Conference, Pembroke College, Oxford|
|Eastern Europe In Transition: A Chance Or Threat To Peace – Historical Observations 1990||Paper for conference in Warsaw at Polish Institute of International Affairs, giving an overview of Eastern European history through the lens of peace history|
|Musings: Autobiosophical Studies Volume 1 1956-1981; Volume 2 1982-1990; Volume 3 1991-1992; Vol 4 1997-1999; Volume 5 2000-2008||Comprehensive autobiographical studies covering the adventures of a philosopher and transpersonal historian in the contemporary world|
|Towards an understanding of the Europeanisation of the Balkans: reflections on the catastrophes of Balkan History||A philosophical study of Balkan history (essay written as part of degree for University of London, and led to award of Balkan History Prize, 1988)|
|Towards a history of the World Congress of Historical Sciences 1900-2003||A survey of the history of this international body of historians worldwide|
|Towards a Cultural and Intellectual History of Sussex||A synopsis of a course taught in Sussex in 1998-9|
|Report on the Arthurian Symposium, 2004||A report of the successful conference organised in Shrewsbury by IIPSGP in July 2004|
|An Encyclopaedia of Transpersonal Thought and History 1945-2002||A comprehensive a-z of who’s who in transpersonal thought from 1945-2001 (appendix for doctoral thesis)|
|Biographical Encyclopaedia A – Z Of Transpersonal Theorists, Historians, Psychologists And Philosophers 1945-2001
||This epochal study is the first attempt to create a biographical dictionary of the lives and works of selected transpersonal thinkers in the 20th century. Ranging widely across disciplines, the work includes philosophers, historians, psychologists, educators, artists, psychohistorians, religious experts, theologians, Christians, Sufis, Kabbalists, Buddhists, Hindus, humanists, mystics all of whom have shown an interest in trying to understand the spiritual or transpersonal side of human nature. Many of the leading Jungian thinkers of modern times are listed here. The work seeks to provide reference material for the development of a new sub-field of history, proposed by the author, namely “transpersonal history.”|
|Philosophical Interpretations of History, East and West||Written for the 2004 Straniak Philosophy Prize|
|The Philosophical Interpretation Of History
||In this work the author examines each of the major philosophical schools East and West and compares and contrasts their views of ultimate historical reality. He searches for the notion of an Underlying Common Wisdom (UCW) and finds this in the idea of a transpersonal historiography, which he proposes as a methodology of historical work which can reconcile and harmonise the best of Eastern and Western philosophies of history.|
|Selected Philosophical And Historical Essays 1985-2005||This collection of essays comprises a survey of the author’s academic and philosophical output over a period of 20 years. These essays have been written and during the course of his intellectual adventures over some 20 years, during which time he have traveled to over 33 countries, and visited innumerable libraries, museums and cultural centres, in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Fez, Moscow, Bethlehem, Scandinavia, Russia, India, the Philippines, USA, Canada etc. The concern fundamental problems affecting modern history and philosophy and above all the search for peace and international understanding.|
|Transpersonal History Lectures (2010-2011)||This course presents a unique overview of the new field of transpersonal History, which combines the insights of transpersonal psychology with that of scientific and academic historiography. The course presents a thorough overview of the potential insights that transpersonal history can shed on areas of traditional historical scholarship, like shining a light on them from a totally different angle. This course is the most in depth consideration of history from a transpersonal perspective ever given. The course is based on Dr Daffern’s doctoral thesis, entitled Toward a Transpersonal History of the Search for Peace 1945-2001 and also partly based on the unique Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions devised by Dr Daffern. (Available as a digital audio recording 150 hours in length)
TEACHING: Teaching classes on History of Ideas and Religions on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000;
Teaching classes on History of Philosophy, Religions and Science for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on History of Philosophy, Religions and Science for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Taught adult education course on Towards a Cultural and Intellectual History of Sussex, in Brighton, 1998-9
Teaching classes on History in Secondary school sector (as part of teaching duties, mainly in religious studies and philosophy, but also delivering history courses, and always designing religious studies and philosophy curriculum form a historical perspective, including Ancient, Classical, mediaeval, early modern, modern history and global history, serving in schools in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, 2001-2010)
Taught adult education courses on history of ideas and philosophy in Shrewsbury and Montgomery covering the History of the Welsh Marches (2001-2004)
Chaired academic seminar on Dr John Dee, Elizabethan renaissance thinker and esoteric philosopher, giving lecture on Dee’s role in renaissance history, in Wales in 2005
Taught course on Transpersonal History: Defining a new field (Sussex and Argyll, 2010-2012) recorded for digital distribution, comprising some 150 hours of teaching time)
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience on all aspects of historical studies, especially transpersonal history; continuing giving adult education classes in Argyll, Scotland and hosting seminars and discussions at the Castle of the Muses for visiting thinkers from overseas. Also lecturing and teaching in Edinburgh and further afield internationally, including Israel, India, Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Italy and continuing to undertake historical research into the causes and solutions of conflict and war in contemporary modern world history. Recently convening seminar on Iranian-Western peacemaking and the deep history of the wars of the Middle East. Hosted visit from Armenian whose father survived the Armenian genocide and discussed the silencing of the history of the Armenian genocide during World War War, and how history is sometimes deliberately suppressed for political purposes. Continuing with running Philosophers and Historians for Peace and networking worldwide on all aspects of peace history. Recently launched new Archaeological project concerned with the Archaeology of Peace, collaborating with professional archaeologists in defining a new field of study for archaeologists. Private historical research conducted in Israel in 2011, including conducting filmed interviews with several leading thinkers about recent and contemporary history, including Judge Soham, who for several years ran the office of Future Intelligence at the Knesset. Continued building up of major archive of personal research materials, and filmed and digital audio historical interviews with visitors and thinkers from all over the world (Israel, Lebanon, Egypt, USA etc.) asking about recent events (e.g. Egyptian revolution in Tahrir Square, current situation in Syria) – many of which are now on YouTube IIPSGP1 Channel.
VISITS: to numerous libraries worldwide with large collections of historical materials, including: The Library of Congress (USA), University of San Francisco, Berkley; UNESCO headquarters library Paris; New York Public Library; Harvard University; The British Library; The Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Oslo University; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; University of Uppsala; University of Malmo; Bibliotheque National Paris; The National Library of Italy, Rome; University of Bradford School of Peace Studies; University of Berlin; University of Warsaw; National Library of Macedonia Skopje (FYROM); The National Library of Russia, Moscow; Institute of Philosophy, Moscow; Institute of Pedagogical Sciences, Moscow; University of Keele; University of Kent (Center for Conflict Research); The London Library; Marx Memorial Library; University of London Libraries (LSE, Institute of Education, SOAS, SSEES, Imperial College, University College, Kings College, Senate House, Commonwealth Studies Institute, Institute for Germanic Studies), Theosophical Society Library (London); Anthroposophical Society Library (Steiner House, London); University of Manila (Philippines); De La Salle University (Manila, Philippines); Lucis Trust Library (London); St Andrews University Library; The Muslim College (London); United Grand Lodge of Freemasons Library (London); Dr Williams Library, London; University of Edinburgh Library; Gregynog Hall Library (University of Wales); University of Birmingham Library); Friends House Library (London); Wellcome Institute Library (London); German Historical Institute (London); Tavistock Institute (London); British Medical Association (London); Institute of Neurology (London); Institute of Psychiatry (London); Weiner Library (London); St Deiniols Library; Bodleian Library (University of Oxford); University of Cambridge Library, Glasgow University Library, National Library of Wales, The Vatican Library.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library over the years covering all aspects of historical science, including very large number of historical encycloepdias, dictionaries, monographs and journals, including major holdings in European history, British and Irish history, world history, American history, holdings include coverage of all epochs of history including prehistory and archaeology, ancient and classical history; mediaeval and renaissance history, early modern and modern history; also different genres of history covered including economic history, social history, women’s history and gender history, ethnic and multicultural history, diplomatic history, psychohistory, intellectual history, history of philosophy, history of sciences, history of mathematics, history of education, history of war.; peace history, History of law and legal systems; political history; philosophy of history, history of love and the emotions; history of sexuality; history of psychology and psychoanalysis; transpersonal history etc. Extensive reader and note taker and bibliophile, also extensive on line user of historical resources and materials available on the internet; undertook specialist training course in Advanced Internet Historical Research Skills at the Institute of Historical Research.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Longstanding member of numerous historical and learned societies involved with different aspects of the study of history (not all at once, memberships staggered as and when can afford them) including:;; British International Studies Association ‑ British Society for the History of Philosophy ‑ Historical Association ‑ American Historical Society ‑ International Studies Association ‑ Political Studies Association ‑ History of Education Society ‑ Council for Academic Autonomy ‑ British Society for the History of Science – British Society for the History of Mathematics – long time member of Institute of Historical Research (University of London); founder and Secretary of Philosophers and Historians for Peace.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS, INFLUENCES: Dr Syed Hussein Nasr; Dr Charles Burnett; Sir George Trevelyan; Leslie Price; Dr Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke; Prof Johann Galtung; Dr Laszlo Peter, Prof Hans Kung, Rev Durdin-Robertson, E.P. Thompson, Peter Beresford Ellis, N.G.L. Hammond, C. M Woodhouse, Sir John Sinclair, Rev Dr. Carole Parrish, Revd Ulrich Simon, Gershom Scholem, Dr Hugh Miall, Prof Paul Smoker, Lady Redman, Prof Norman Davies, Prof Jeremy Black, Ken Wilber, Prof John Somerville, Dr Carl Jung, Jeremy Rye, Dr Ian Nish, Prof D. C. Watt, Mike Stokes, Mary Napper, Nigel Blair, David Lorimer, Henry Lawton, Lloyd de Mause, Dr. Joseph Boehle, Prof Norbert Klaes, Prof Pat Thane, Prof Averil Cameron, Prof Ronald Hutton, Lord Conrad Russell, Dr Peter Van Den Dungen, Lord Combermere, Prof Martin Sherwin, Dr Irwin Abrams, Dr Hanak, Antony Polonsky, Prof Malcolm Yapp, Prof Roy Porter, Prof Elise Boulding, Prof H.D. Lewis, Prof Stewart Sutherland, Sir John Sinclair, Prof Julie Peters, Rabbi Albert Friedlander.
In 2011 Thomas established the Centre for Peace Policy Research in Argyll, as the first such academic centre in the world to be devoted exclusively to thinking through the ways and means that we as a planet can advance serious, intelligent, holistic and multidisciplinary thinking about peace creation in our social and political conflicts worldwide. As part of the work of this centre, we have already hosted two Poseidon Seminars, discussing the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrence fleet of Trident submarines, not least in view of the declared aim of a future independent Scotland in making Scotland a nuclear weapons free country. Based in Scotland, the Centre for Peace Policy Research advocates alternatives to militarism as the way forward for all men and women of good will worldwide, and believes that an intelligence peace policy is possible, not just for Scotland and the UK, but for the planet as a whole. More details about this work can be read here: https://ceppr.wordpress.com/about/
Thomas’s life time’s work in studying and teaching peace studies emerges from a profound commitment to educational efforts to understand how and why human societies and individuals come into conflict; why our international political system is so unable apparently to provide a counter to the force of unbridled nationalism, religion-ism and class-ism that fuel global conflicts. How can we find new ways of envisioning society and the individual’s role in social structures, that can enable peace to flourish rather than violence. Do human groupings always need an enemy to form their own sense of identity around ? The blazing crescendo of violence in modern world society, and the madness and mayhem of World Wars One and Two, followed by the cold war, and the contemporary period of religious and ethnically defined violence, have been he focus of an intensive three decade long period of research, as follows:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN PEACE STUDIES, ANTHROPOLOGY, SOCIOLOGY AND THE SOCIAL SCIENCES
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of sociology by taking A level in Sociology at Lewes Technical College in 1975, then “dropped out” due to father contracting Alzheimer’s disease prematurely; continued studying aspects of social theory at University of Bristol (during Philosophy undergraduate degree), then for an intensive 4 years period of private study in Canada, including undertaken courses in anthropology at the University of Calgary. Returned to London in 1981 and undertook extensive private study at the British Museum and other London libraries in all aspects of social and political sciences and peace research. Launched Philosophers and Historians for Peace in 1983 and organised regular academic meetings in London, including sessions on social theory and social policy of peace. Visited Greenham Common and spoke at various peace related events about the responsibilities of intellectuals to work for reconciliation and healing globally. Undertook a modern history degree at the University of London from 1985-1988, and took papers in modern history at the London School of Economics (his 2 daughters went to nursery there) and used enormous resources of library there to research in detail the history of social theory in relation to the intellectual conflicts then raging in the cold war between eastern and western, capitalist and communist, versions of reality. Attended World Congress of Philosophy in 1988 at the University of Brighton and was elected coordinator of Philosophers for Peace in Europe, and then in Moscow 1990, where elected coordinator of Philosophers for Peace internationally. Liaised and networked with social scientists and social theorists on a global basis from office in the Institute of Education at the University of London, where he was then employed to research the feasibility of establishing a new national Institute of Peace Research in the London University System. Networked and met with leading social theorists and academics, sociologists and philosophers of group relations and community dynamics, from all over the world, and within London. Attended innumerable conferences in both the UK and worldwide covering all aspects of the search for peace, social, individually and psychologically. Began sharpening his PhD topic by this plethora of encounters. Influenced by the sociology of knowledge school of Karl Mannheim, former Professor at the Institute of Education, and developed theories of transpersonal history by combining metaphysical knowledge as the missing aspect of the modern industrialized approach to knowledge, both “capitalist” and “communist” in which knowledge is traded as a “commodity” by “stakeholder institutions” who police what is permissible knowledge in any given epoch, or geographical location. Argued for ultimate hyper-arching field of transpersonal knowledge, available now not just to elites, but to “ordinary monks and mystics”. Worked in the sociology of religion and social discourse theory on the definitions of ultimate realities, as seen by different groups and cultures. Studied the anthropology of ultimate belief systems and set up a specialised Mediation service dealing with religious and cultural conflicts and violence. Organised 30 meetings in the UK House of Lords to bring policy makers and savants together with political leaders to think through a rational peace policy for the UK. Also taught extensively at the University of London and the University of Oxford, on all aspects of peace studies. Hoped for national Institute of Peace Studies didn’t materialize, and instead our political leaders squandered billions of pounds on war and violence, so worked as a secondary school teacher to encourage young minds with the taste for ultimate questions of meaning and purpose, and to instill the flame of philosophy, the love of wisdom for its own sake, into the next generation. Unfinished chapter of PhD thesis covered history of sociology and social sciences from 1945-2001 and the search for peace among leading social thinkers, but had to be excluded for lack of space. Ongoing study in the post 9/11 world into inter-religious social conflict resolution and various ongoing action research study projects involving work in this area. Written extensively on all aspects of the sociology of religious faith in relation to group psychological and transpersonal psychological processes.
|Feasibility Study On Peace Studies In The University Of London||2 Volume study produced at Institute of Education, 1991|
|Crtitique Of Gorbachev’s Speech To The United Nations General Assembly, 1989||Response to Gorbachev’s vision of peace at key time in history|
|The Role Of Universities In Peace And World Order Studies 1991||Paper presented to the United Nations Commission on Disarmament Education, New York, UN HQ|
|“Towards A Community Of Communities: Inter‑Racial Harmony And The European Integration Process”, 1989||Report prepared for International Alert, London|
|“On The Potential Of Psycho‑History & Intellectual History To Peace & Conflict Studies”, 1989||Paper To British International Studies Association|
|“Education For Peace & International Understanding In The Interwar Period 1918-1939: Towards A Prehistory Of Contemporary Peace and World Order Studies”, 1991||Paper presented to International Historians for Peace Conference on “The Role Of Peace Movement During The Inter-War Period, 1991-1939″ Burg Schlaining, Austria|
|“A Global Survey Of Trend In Universities In Peace & World Order Studies”, 1992||Paper to Research Seminar organised By International Association Of University Presidents & United Nations Disarmament Commission, UN HQ, New York.|
|“Inner Peace & Outer Peace”, 1992||Part of “The Seekers Guide”|
|Peacebuilding: a survey of approaches||First published in the World Encyclopaedia of Violence, and Peace, San Diego, 2000|
|Towards a Philosophy of Joyism: a critique of terrorism||A historical study of the intellectual roots of terrorism and the proposal of an equally radical alternative: joyism|
|Towards a History of the Gandhi Foundation and the School of Nonviolence||A survey of the work of this educational body set in historical context: what does Gandhi have to say today ?|
|The UK Parliament’s role in the search for peace: a report on a 10 year project||This study details the work behind the scenes in Parliament by IIPSGP from 1993-2003 and current developments to establish a Ministry of Peace in the UK|
|Education for Global Citizenship||Article first published in World Encyclopedia of Peace, Korea|
|Report on a Peace Study tour of the USA, 1992||A report on a trip which included New York, Boston, Harvard, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, New Orleans, and which involved interviewing many educators|
|The Global Peace Ship||A project proposal and a report on work in hand|
|The educational implications of September 11, 2001||A report on an educational conference at St Deiniols Library, Wales|
|A peace proposal for the Tibetan situation||A specific set of proposals for a solution to the Tibetan conflict and a history of attempts to solve it so far (lecture in Shrewsbury, 2003)|
|Towards a history of peace studies, peace research and peace education 1945-2001||A study of work in peace studies, and sister disciplines, in relation to peace and conflict resolution – written as chapter of the author’s PhD thesis, and then left out as too long, and published separately|
|The Art of War and the Arts of Peace:||A report on an exhibition in 2003 commemorating the 600th anniversary of the Battle of Shrewsbury 1403-2003 (at Shrewsbury Museum, Shropshire)|
|A Dream of Peace||A proposal to unite pacifist traditions with realist traditions in the common cause of peacemaking and conflict prevention (based on a dream experience)|
|On Education in the European Context (Paper for Helsinki Citizens Assembly, Prague, 1990)||A study of education in a wider European context, with proposals for continent wide reforms|
|Remaking the Mosaic with the Help of the Muses: Manilla 2004||A paper on education and peace given at the International Association of University Presidents Conference in Manilla, Philippines, organised through UNESCO, March 2004|
|On Global Studies and Philosophy||An article published in the Encyclopaedia of Global Studies, Moscow, 2003|
|Towards A Truth And Reconciliation Commission For The Middle East||Towards a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East has two main purposes, firstly to explain the background behind the launching of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East in 2008, and secondly to give something of the theoretical framework in which this project is being based.|
|Poseidon Seminar – A report on the 2011 launch event||This conference was a gathering of several leading thinkers interested in the future of Britain’s nuclear deterrent and whether it can any longer be justified on economic, ethical and political grounds. What about replacement costs for old and aging equipment ? IS it appropriate to keep relying on nuclear deterrence in today’s complex world ? or are there other better ways to guarantee one’s security as a nation ? (Filmed version of the event is available as a DVD) Chaired by Dr Thomas Clough Daffern|
|Peace Studies Seminars Lectures 2011||This series of talks given in 2011 covered all the 9 areas of intellectual and spiritual activity that are underway in the Castle of the Muses, in each of the following areas, and gives an overview not only of the intellectual problems facing the planet in each field, but also what IIPSGP is trying to do about them. Areas covered include: Calliope (Politics and Economics), Clio (History and Education), Erato (Love, Philosophy and Psychology), Melpomene (Law, Peace Studies, War Studies), Polyhymnia (Religious Studies), Terpsichore (Musicology), Thalia (Literature), Urania (Natural Sciences).
TEACHING: Teaching classes on Peace Studies and Social Sciences on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000;
Teaching classes on Peace Studies and Social Sciences for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Peace Studies and Social Sciences for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Organised and Co-Chaired study seminars at House of Lords on aspects of Peace Studies and Social Sciences 1993-2003
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Teaching Philosophy A level Philosophy and Religious Studies courses including units on epistemology and the philosophy of the social sciences, the construction of social realities, the sociological aspects of religious belief and practice etc. Extensive teaching experience of all aspects of philosophy and religious studies (drawing on aspects of social sciences and sociology – Durkheim, Marx, Weber, Comte) in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex and internationally. (2001 – 2012). Participant in International Dignity and Humiliation Studies Conference in Berlin, 2006 and proposed the thesis of “Sophiaphobia” as a social and psychological process for blocking the emergence of new knowledge. Teaching courses on Peace Studies in Scotland 2010-2015
VISITS: to numerous social scientific institutions and peace research centres and research institutes, including in New York, London, Paris, Israel, Moscow, Greece, Rome, Venice, Berlin (Humboldt University), Cambridge, Oxford, New Delhi, San Franscisco, Washington DC, Toronto, Montreal, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Ljubljana, Oslo (University of Oslo, Nobel Peace Prize Headquarters, and Norwegian Institute of Human Rights), Stockholm, Copenhagen, Groningen (Polemoloigcal Institute), Amsterdam, Vienna, Budapest, Manilla, Seoul, etc. Attended meetings on different aspects of the social sciences and peace research in London and organised many of the same over many years. Travelled in some 33 countries worldwide visiting social scientific and peace research institutions and teaching and conducting research on the history and philosophy of peace from all varying perspectives including the religious, scientific, psychological, philosophical etc. Visited many sites of special interest to peace research and the social sciences including: Auschwitz (Poland), Memorial (Normandy), Dachau (Germany), Brandenburg Gate (Berlin), Dublin and Belfast (Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland), Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Bethlehem (Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East), San Francisco (training in school mediation processes), New York (invited speaker at United Nations HQ), London, House of Lords (seminar organiser on peace studies and social policy), Harvard University (School of Government and Law, Sociology Department); Visited the Josef Stefan Institute in Ljubljana in 2008 and held a joint seminar with colleagues there on science and peace in 2008. Visited Stockholm International peace Research Institute (SIPRI), Moscow (Institute of Peace Research), Paris (Maison Des Sciences de l’Homme, Centre Interdisciplinaire De Recherches Pour La Paix; UNESCO Headquarters), Bonn (Information Unit Peace Research), Dublin (Trinity College, Irish School of Ecumenics, Saor Ollscoil na h’Eireann), Israel (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Weismann Institute), The Hague (Institute of Social Studies, Peace Palace Library, Hague Academy of International Law) etc.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library over the years covering all aspects of peace research and the history and philosophy of the social sciences and sociology, including also auxiliary subjects such as economics, anthropology, social psychology, management science, behavioural sciences, leadership studies, social epistemology, sociology of knowledge, systems theory, peace sciences, conflict theory, mediation studies, conflict resolution research etc. specialised particularly in the social dynamics of war and peace and have studied the literature extensively for many years, have a large general acquaintance with the overall theoretic literature of this field.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Longstanding member of the Conflict Research Society (and former information officer), Member of the board of the International Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Network. Co-convener of the International Peace Research Peace Theories Commission from 2006-2008. Member of the Board of the European Peace Research Association (EUPRA) 2006-2008. Presented an award for contributions to advancing the peace sciences by the former President of India and founder of the Indian Space Programme, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, 2008. Long time member of the British Sociological Association. Extensive correspondence with the International Social Science Council (UNESCO), and the International Sociological Association about their provision for research into the social dynamics of peace; networking with numerous research projects underway internationally in this field and with the work of individual sociologists and social scientists and peace researchers. International responsibilities for networking in the fields of peace education and peace studies worldwide for many years, currently undertaken as Director of IIPSGP (voluntary post). In this capacity have launched numerous (ongoing) action research projects including the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East (TRCME) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland, as examples of active citizenship volunteering.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS, INFLUENCES: numerous colleagues involved in the work of the Initiative for Peace Studies in the University of London, Sorokin, Prof. Elise Boulding, Veslemoy Wiese, Prof. Giorgi Gatchev, Dr. Marina Blagoev, Prof Raymond Williams, Prof Paul Smoker, Prof Kenneth Boulding, Prof Johan Galtung, Dr. Herb Blumberg, Prof Adam Curle, Prof Richard Falk, Ken Wilber, Sir Karl Popper, Dr. Evelin Lindner, Peter Russell, Prof David Bohm, Prof. Morton Deutsch, Marilyn Ferguson, Eileen Barker OBE FBA, Hans Kung, the late Karl Mannheim, Prof. Basil Bernstein, Prof John Groom, Dr Hugh Miall, Prof. John Burton, Prof Cedric Smith, Prof Bert Roling, George Daffern etc.
As a peace activist and philosopher, who takes as his motto Fichte’s phrase “Thinking is Also an Activity”… Thomas has been deeply involved in interfaith and interphilosophical discourse over many years. How is it possible to reconcile the different warring faith traditions on this planet? How can we get back to an understanding of what Sir Isaac Newton called the “white light of our primal faiths”. His PhD thesis explores in depth the role of the interfaith movement between 1945 and 2001 and its attempts to halt violence and war on this planet, as well as exploring why it has also not succeeded in this mission, so far. Here is a list of some of Thomas’s activities in the arena of interfaith service:
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN INTERFAITH RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS
STUDY AND WRITING:
Commenced study of history of interfaith movement in Canada 1977-1981
Continued study of interfaith movement in London 1981-1991
Including work as part of history degree at University of London 1985-1988
Subsequent detailed history of interfaith contributions to the search for peace and world order in international affairs from 1945-2001 as part of PhD for University of London. Critical student and practitioner of impact of interfaith movement. Published several essays on different aspects of interfaith studies.
|10.||INTERFAITH CALENDAR OF SAINTS AND SAGES, 2004||Comprehensive Calendar of Saints and Sages from all faiths, religions, and philosophical traditions|
|27.b (now onwww.lulu.com/iipsgp)||UNIVERSAL CALENDAR OF SAINTS AND SAGES
|This unique reference calendar includes saints and sages for every day of the calendar year. Unlike other such Calendars, it includes saints and sages from every religion and faith tradition, including the following: Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Paganism, Wicca, Druidry, Shamanism, Freemasonry, Rosicrucianism, Secular Humanism, Marxism, Freudian thought, Bahaism, Shintoism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zoroastrianism, Theosophy, Anthroposophy, Kabbalah, Sufism etc.|
|11.||HANDBOOK ON PEACE, JUSTICE AND MEDIATION IN WORLD RELIGIONS||Initially produced as the training handbook for the MMMS|
|12.||THE COMMONWEALTH INTERFAITH NETWORK: a report on a work in progress, 2003||Surveys the developments and continuing need for a Commonwealth Interfaith Network, and current ethical challenges facing the Commonwealth|
|13.||INTRODUCTION TO “A SOLUTION FOR THE THIRD MILLENNIUM” – proposal for a UN Spiritual Forum for World Peace, 2000||Written for a special commemorative volume presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations in New York on the proposal of Lama Gangchen to establish a spiritual forum at the UN|
|268||LIVING SAINTS AND SAGES
|This series of talks from 2012 gives an overview of contemporary spiritual leaders, intellectuals, philosophers, saints and sages from all known spiritual and intellectual orientations. It is to be accompanied by an eventual Calendar of Living Saints and Sages to be published later in 2012. The talks are designed to support and encourage leading thinkers to get involved together with IIPSGP on a planetary mission for peace and interfaith understanding. (currently only in digital audio format)
|259||CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF DIVINE INTELLIGENCE REPORT 2011-2015||This report on the launch conference of this new academic initiative in 2011-2015 at the Castle of the Muses, includes presentations by Dr Thomas Daffern and other presenters (also in DVD format)|
Teaching classes on Interfaith movement on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000
Teaching classes on Interfaith movement for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999
Teaching classes on Interfaith movement for University of Oxford 1997-2000
Teaching adult classes on contemporary and historical aspects of interfaith community in Wales, Sussex and Scotland under auspices of IIPSGP, 2001-2012
Continuing involvement running the Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation and Education Service MMMES (1996 – 2012). Establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for Britain and Ireland (TRCBI) (Aug 2006). Convened the Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East (August 2008); extensive teaching of the history of Modern Interfaith Educational work in secondary schools and adult education in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex.
Visited World Conference on Religion and Peace Seminar on Language and Peace (1989)
World Conference on Religion and Peace Congress in Vienna (1991)
World Conference on Religion and Peace Congress in Venice and Paris (1992)
World Conference on Religion and Peace Congress in Gotland, Sweden (1993)
World Conference on Religion and Peace Congress in Rome and Riva del Garda, Italy (1995)
Attended Global Interfaith Congress in Bangalore, India (1993)
Invited to attend Commonwealth Day Religious Observance, Westminster Abbey, with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth 2 present (March 1998)
Invited to speak at Conference on Religious Freedom in Berlin, 1999 (as part of MMMS work)
Visited to Korea for launch of World Interfaith Peace Congress (Seoul. 1999, met Ninian Smart and numerous other scholars of world religions, as part of MMMS work)
Ran workshop in Oklahoma at Sancta Sophia Academy training mediators in peace and Multifaith mediation, 1998.
Visited India 8 times from 1993-2015 and invited to speak at and address numerous interfaith gatherings and conferences; visited innumerable ashrams in India and met leading Indian interfaith practitioners and inspired to found Commonwealth Interfaith Network thereby.
Visited Israel and Palestine several times and interviewed senior Christians, Jews and Muslims as part of work of Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East (work was filmed and issued as educational DVD)
Visited Turkey 3 times in 2014-2015 and addressed large gathering of Sufis in Istanbul, Nov 2014
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE:
Accrued excellent library of interfaith books, pamphlets, newsletters, translations, scholarly works, covering many different movements, groups, projects etc. User of many libraries with interfaith related works including: SOAS, India Office, Theosophical Society, British Library, New York Public Library, Library of Congress, Venice Library of Ecumenical Study Centre, Union Theological Seminary, New York, Vatican Library etc.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY
Served on Executive Committee of World Congress of Faiths (1990-1993)
Organised Spiritual Retreat for Peace and Justice, at Prinknash Abbey (1991)
Served as Secretary General of World Conference on Religion and Peace for UK and Ireland (1990-1999)
Served on European Executive Committee of World Conference of Religion and Peace (1991-1997)
Served as Trustee for International Sacred Literature Trust (1992-1997)
Participant in work of United Religions Initiative (URI) 1999-
Founder of Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation and Education Service (MMEMS) 1996 – now
Founder of Commonwealth Interfaith Association (1998, Edinburgh, CHOGM)
Founder of Order of Wandering Peace Poets, Bards and Druids (1998, Macedonia)
Organised innumerable interfaith mediations and meetings for peace (London, Avebury, Bredon Hill, Sussex, Wales, Scotland etc.)
Trustee, Silent Minute Trust
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS, MENTORS:
Inspired by numerous personal friends and colleagues, students and former teachers including: Rabbi Friedlander, Dr. Zaki Badawi, Lord Combermere, Prof. Ninian Smart, Prof. Gavin Flood, Prof. Hans Kung, Achary Tulsi, Mahapragya, Dalai Lama, Lama Gangchen, Dr William Vendley, Rev Marcus Braybrooke, Lynne Sedgemore OBE, Robert Traer, Bishop Spong, David Arnott, Dr S.L. Gandhi, Swami Chaturvedi, Rev Carol Parrish, Dr Richard Kirby, Menorah Charney, Gila Haron, Dr Sayyed Husayn Nasr, Dom Sylvester Houedard etc.
From 2010 – now Thomas has been based at the Castle of the Muses in Argyll, and has been continuing to develop the work of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy, running courses, holding seminars, giving lectures, and working on the following projects:
- TRCME – THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR THE MIDDLE EAST is an independent, interfaith, academic and philosophical initiative for peacemaking in the Middle East. The TRCME will provide a forum for discussion for spiritual leaders, peace thinkers and activists and will address primarily the intellectual, moral, ethical and philosophical dilemmas which are preventing the discovery of non-violent solutions to the crises of the region. The Coordinator of the TRCME has recently proposed the exciting Golden Gate Project in Jerusalem, concerning the reopening of the Golden Gate in the East wall of Jerusalem, following a further series of interviews and discussions in Israel and Palestine in 2011. A documentary film is currently being edited about the work of the TRCME. The total chaos and destabilization in Syria is a good example of why this work is so vital.
- TRCBI – THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION FOR BRITAIN AND IRELAND provides a forum for the reconciliation through examination of historic wrongs that different communities within Britain and Ireland feel were committed during the period of history in Ireland known as the ‘time of Troubles’, particularly concerning the split between Catholics and Protestants and their paramilitary wings. Our intention is to work closely with the new Oral History Archive agreed to be established by the recent Stormont House Agreement of 23 December, 2014. Our work has been commended recently by Rt Hon. Theresa Villiers, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
- EUMS – THE EUROPEAN UNION MEDIATION SERVICE is a proposed project that would involve the creation of a professional and politically supported international mediation service under the auspices of the European Union, comprising recognised experts in mediation and conflict prevention, ready instantly to offer mediation expertise in cases of conflicts involving European Union member states, their neighboring states, and any European or Mediterranean state that wishes to join the mediation service as Associates members. The crisis in Ukraine is exactly what the EUMS has been designed to prevent and resolve.
- MMMS – THE MULTIFAITH AND MULTICULTURAL MEDIATION SERVICE specialises in dispute resolution in situations of religious or racial violence and conflict and is able to provide mediation in which there is either a specifically religious or racial dimension to the dispute or in which both parties to the dispute prefer to refer the matter to the Service.
- COMMONWEALTH INTERFAITH NETWORK – The purpose of the Commonwealth Interfaith Network (C.I.N.) is to provide an international network for persons and organisations active in any of the 53 Commonwealth Countries, concerned with advancing better interfaith understanding, and to act as a forum for advanced ethical, philosophical and religious dialogue and educational studies.
- COUNCIL OF MONARCHS – The purpose of the Council is to convene a global gathering of reigning monarchs, who evidently have considerable influence, power and prestige internationally. The purpose of their coming together as a council is so that they can be more effective than they can be individually. They could add their voices collectively to the work that needs to be done on the planet and the achievement of certain collective policy aims.
- WEBSITE AND MEDIA OUTREACH WORK- The Institute is unique among research centres throughout the world in that it combines training and practical work in conflict resolution with studying the entire range of global philosophical and spiritual traditions, together with the proactive search for global responsibility and justice in our time. With a unique library and archive on peace research and global philosophy (catalogued partly online), the Institute acts as a support structure and information clearinghouse to empower individuals to develop their own research and action projects in the fields of peace and global ethics and works co-operatively alongside many other institutions and professional networks worldwide. The website also has a comprehensive catalogue of publications on the Institute’s themes which are available at www.educationaid.net In addition, IIPSGP has been joined by Media Director Nicola Hague (of www.holisticchannel.org.uk) to film and record a comprehensive series of educational lectures by the IIPSGP Director which can be made available via the web, as well as providing media (filmed for television) coverage of the various projects listed elsewhere in this synopsis. A sister web page has been set up showcasing the work of the Institute Director in devising a Periodic Table of the World’s Religious and Philosophical Traditions. A new website specifically for the Castle of the Muses was created recently. We also use social networking media for outreach, especially Facebook. We have a busy YOUTUBE channel.
- INDIAN UNION MEDIATION SERVICE – – this is a similar project to the EUMS which would involve each regional state which makes up the Indian Federation having a panel of mediators which work with the central government to create an Indian Union Mediation Service which would be available for disputes involving political or religious or ethnic conflict breaking out anywhere in Indian territory, but also, as in the EU model, in neighboring territories so that would include neighboring countries like Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Burma, China and Tibet.
- INTERNATIONAL PEACE BOOK PRIZE – This project is about establishing a new international literary award scheme whereby the world’s national libraries would each agree to establish a simultaneous International Peace Book award, giving a prize to the two books published in their land that year (literary and non-literary) which in the opinion of a specially convened panel of scholars and literary experts, best advances international peace and understanding of all the books published in their language and nation that year. Free copies of the 2 chosen books would then be sent to each participating library in the scheme throughout the world (e.g. British Library, Library of Congress, Bibliotheque Nationale, Library of Alexandria etc.) This would do several things at once – it would raise the profile of scholarship and literary endeavours for peace, and encourage authors in this field, and it would also build up a deposit of peace books in each library from all around the world to be consulted by the general public. We hope to liaise with UNESCO on this and to have the Peace Book Prize officially announced at a conference in Calcutta at the Indian National Library.
- EDUCATION AID – This project currently being developed is a simultaneous annual fundraising networking initiative among the world’s formal (and informal) educational structures. Modeled on existing fundraising initiatives in other sectors (e.g. Live Aid, Band Aid, Comic Relief, Children in Need) it involves the organization of imaginative events in educational institutions world-wide: schools, colleges, universities, academies, research institutes etc. as both fundraising events, and as important educational happenings in their own right. All these events will be open to and supported and sponsored by the general public and by companies, businesses and charities, involving attractive and interesting conferences, lectures, seminars, exhibitions, etc. on the contributions which education can make to the re-building of a troubled world too long suffering from the ravages of war, poverty, famine, illiteracy and fear. All funds raised from Education Aid events will be donated solely towards educational work in the places where this is most needed e.g. schools, universities and communities which cannot afford teachers or basic textbooks etc..
- GLOBAL GREEN UNIVERSITY – The GGU is an international network of educators and activists committed to building a peaceful, just, ecologically sane, cooperative and sustainable global society which accepts students for higher degree research on topics of importance to global well being. (Alternative energy, new management studies, communications, transpersonal knowledge, new physics etc.).
- PEACE AND JUSTICE STUDIES COURSE – This is a distance learning course leading to a Diploma in Education for Peace and Global Responsibility. Devised in 9 modules, delivered termly over three years, the course is an innovative educational outreach service on behalf of the Institute and enables students worldwide to benefit from the combined years of academic study and research that it embodies. The course consists of monthly correspondence modules, covering all aspects of the search for peace and justice in different educational, academic and scientific and humanistic disciplines.
- CENTRE FOR PEACE POLICY RESEARCH – CEPPR is a new project of the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy launched in July 2009. This work consolidates and extends the sustained interested shown by IIPSGP in formulating, articulating and advocating a rational peace policy for the UK, Europe and globally. The enormous costs of not having thought through a serious peace policy has become all too apparent in recent years. Founded in 1991 at the end of the Cold War, IIPSGP began its own life as a project of the University of London. It has organised over 33 meetings in the UK House of Lords to bring together MPs, Peers and NGO leaders to discuss the links between ethics and policy. IIPSGP is at the forefront of research and education on all aspects of global philosophical and ethical debates, interfaith research, and the in depth study of dialogue for concerted approaches to solving global problems involving both scientific and spiritual paradigms. CEPPR will attempt to tackle the enormous vacuum created by the lack of serious debate in the UK and among its allies in thinking through the long term prospects of a peaceful international order. The UK and USA are competent at fighting military campaigns and winning conventional wars, but have failed abysmally to build long term peace, notably in Iraq and Afghanistan. The reason for this is simply because no one is actually thinking long term and envisioning an actual peace policy per se in either county. Europe likewise stands to lose tremendously by not having an active peace policy in place, and by allowing violence in nearby countries to destabilise our continent. Russia likewise, remains a very potent force on the world stage, but has yet to really convince other powers that it has the keys to peace in its pockets. CEPPR, a global initiative, will attempt to fill these gaps in global policy thinking and practice.
- THE BRITISH AND COMMONWEALTH PEACE MUSEUM – The Castle of the Muses is now the base for the British and Commonwealth Peace Museum, a private museum dedicated to the quest for peace and understanding in the world. Each of the 9 large rooms of the Castle is devoted to a particular Muse, and contains books, artefacts, paintings and sacred objects associated with the traditional archetypal energy of that Muse, who were the guardians of the original Academy. Our Director is a Canadian-British dual citizen.
- THE POSEIDON SEMINARS – The Poseidon Seminars are an annual forum where all those interested in debating, researching and discussing the future of both Britain’s own nuclear deterrent, and the global prospects for a nuclear weapons-free world, can come together in serious intellectual discussion and debate. We had a very fruitful launch Seminar in November 2011 and a later Seminar in Nov. 2012.
- THE SCHOOL OF NONVIOLENCE – This project, founded in 1993 continues to examine the possibility of a pedagogy of non-violence, drawing on the works of great teachers of non-violence in past epochs, such as Mahavira, Gautama Buddha, Jesus, Pythagoras, Shankara, Fox, Tolstoy, Gandhi, Martin Luther King etc. The Director of IIPSGP received an International Nonviolence Award from the Jains of India in 2011 (Anuvibha).
- CENTRE FOR THE STUDY OF DIVINE INTELLIGENCE – This project is a new venture in advancing dialogue, research and education on the cusp between scientific, spiritual and theological research, intended as a forum for all those who feel that the evidence of nature, and its grandeur, design, complexity, magnificence and apparent purpose and order, points to some kind of super-arching or Divine Intelligence at work behind the scenes. Psychologists have already argued that there is such a thing as spiritual intelligence. CSDI wishes to remain true to the lineages of enlightenment, sceptical and phenomenological inquiry, yet to move scientific discourse into a new dimension, namely the scientific study of the possibility of divine intelligence and its implications. We had very interesting seminars in 2011, 2012 and 2015.
- CENTRE FOR THE PERIODIC TABLE OF THE WORLD’S RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES A new classification, research and analysis tool for categorising and harmonising our perceptions of religious and philosophical traditions alike; an associated website page at http://www.educationaid.net has also been set up to showcase this work and its future developments. Mendelev’s ideas are applicable to the typology of faiths.
- THE CASTLE LIBRARY – The library is a truly unique feature of the Castle. Numbering some 12,000 volumes, it is divided into 9 sections, each named after a different Muse. The publications of IIPSGP are available at www.lulu.com/iipsgp. Funds are need to complete the library shelving and for book acquisition and cataloguing expenses.
- TEACHING, TRAINING AND EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH – The Castle will function as a meeting place for everyone involved in education to think through difficulties and solutions to the global learning deficit. It is a centre for advanced global philosophical discourse, a “safe house” for intellectuals.
- ISLAMIC AND INTERFAITH MIDDLE EAST PEACE STUDIES ASSOCIATION (IIMEPSA): The intention behind the Islamic and Interfaith Middle Eastern Peace Studies Association is to create a context within which educators and scientific researchers, interested in peace and the history and philosophy of Islam and other religions, and those with a general interest in the Middle East, can collaborate together for the advancement of learning in the cause of peace and international understanding. The aim of I.I.M.E.P.S.A. is to widen awareness of the Islamic contribution to the search for lasting peace and, by this awareness, to contribute to the search for peaceful resolution of the contemporary conflict situations in the Middle East. We are concerned to advance closer understanding and intellectual cooperation between academics and educators, from the Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Druze, Yezidi, Bahai and other religions as well as humanists and secular thinkers, involved in education for peace, human rights, social and economic development and environmental responsibility. We hope to encourage dialogue at all levels between scholars from these various spiritual and philosophical frameworks, so as to challenge the intellectual appeal of all varieties of narrow fundamentalism, intolerance and prejudice. We also hope to found Centres for Peace Studies in Universities throughout the Middle East region. There is also a long term goal to found a high level Islamic Peace Research Institute where scholars can research in detail the spiritual teachings of Islam regarding peacemaking, mediation, forgiveness and reconciliation, and so help to dispel the belligerent image of Islam held by non-Muslims, and to contribute towards the dialogue of civilisations that is so urgently needed in today’s world. But this would have to be something anchored firmly in the real world. The kind of place where Isil ideologists could go and study and be converted away from terrorism.
- SCIENCE FOR PEACE: This project has grown out of work with the University of London. IIPSGP was founded with the help and guidance of many leading scientists, such as the late Prof Cedric Smith FRS, and Maurice Wilkins FRS, a Nobel Prize Winner for his co-discovery of DNA, among many others. Many of the leading scientific minds of the post war world have been engaged in research into the causes of war and the possibility of preventing future major military confrontations. The IIPSGP Science for Peace programme networks with leading scientists and scientific organisations worldwide to encourage scientists to dedicate some of their specialist time and thinking towards devising new technical models and practical applications for the possibility of science helping to create a world of peace and cooperation, rather than a world based on fear, violence and miscommunication. Just as science and scientists have been at the forefront of military planning since at least the time of Archimedes, IIPSGP argues that science is now best served by helping co-create a world of peace and sharing and the mediation of dangerous disputes before they escalate out of control. Linus Pauling, who won two Nobel Prizes (Chemistry and Peace) called for a World Peace Research organisation back in 1958 and called the search for peace the single most important intellectual challenge facing humanity in our generation. We are trying to deliver on this call at the highest possible level of intellectual and scientific activity. We feel there is a great deal more the new internet based cyber society can be doing about peace – communications and computer science professionals need to work more closely to a script of peacebuilding rather than war-fighting.
- INTERFAITH PEACE TREATY: This visionary project aims to get the world’s leading intellectuals, faith leaders, philosophers, artists and cultural leaders to sign up a philosophically oriented peace treaty, in which they pledge not to harm, injure, attack or kill each other’s representatives and traditions, and to honour and appreciate the many richly nuanced shades of interpretation that different intellectuals have come up with about the ultimate reality that underpins existence. It is a unique and pioneering project and is on line at: https://interfaithpeacetreaty.wordpress.com – a copy of this treaty is included with this letter. Please do sign it, if you like the wording and agree with it, and do spread the word.
- THE MUSES LOVE JOURNAL; This is the only academic Journal in the world examining the nature of love (compassion, altruism, cooperation, eros, philia, agape, friendship etc.) It is IIPSGP’s main journal.
- SUNNI, SHIIA AND SUFI PEACE COMMISSION: This Commission is tasked with inquiring into establishing a theological, intellectual and scientific truce, ceasefire and reconciliation between practitioners of Sunni, Shiite and Sufi Islam, so that their conflicts may be returned to the academic seminar room, the lecture hall and the library, and no longer fought out in physical, military or “intelligence” battles; the Commission proceeds on the assumption that authentic Islam, which requires surrender to the Absolute Creator and Ruler of the entire Universe, transcends these man-made divisions and that since authentic Islamic at its best requires and supports peace, calmness, tranquility, non-violence, friendship, amity and love, scholars of Islam throughout the world must do all they can to bring about reconciliation and peace between the different divisions and branches of Islamic thought and culture through study, scholarship, scientific evidence, prayer, historical research, literature, poetry, the arts, music, diplomatics, and the cultivation of educational excellence. Simplistic Jihadis and terrorists who advocate violence against anyone outside their own narrow definition of Islam will be refuted by this Commission for their intellectual and moral simplicity, and returned to the correct path of spiritual jihad against our own ignorance.
- SACRED SCRIPTURES COMMENTARIES: This project is aimed at creating the intellectual and philosophical possibilities of rapprochement between the different religious traditions of humanity, especially in the Middle East. The IIPSGP Director has been working on detailed Commentaries on the Jewish scriptures (Ketuvim), the Christian New Testament, the Holy Quran and the Book of Enoch, in order to show how, based on his doctoral thesis on transpersonal history, the harmonization of different faith paths is intellectually feasible and a vital necessity for peace in an age of religiously motivated terrorism. They are available for reviewing at: https://musespress.wordpress.com/audio-lectures/
Finally, notwithstanding all the above activities and projects and interests, Thomas’s key contribution towards planetary peace and well being may well turn out to be his poetic oeuvre, over 900 poems, which he will leave behind him as a lasting legacy for future generations to appreciate. He is currently in the process of recording them all to make them available as a talking book, since poetry is meant to be read and heard aloud, as well as read on the printed page. It began as an oral art form, and this explains Thomas’s deep love and fascination not just for poetry but also the Bardic and Druid arts of the ancients. For all art, and all knowledge, was at first transmitted orally. Perhaps the internet is in some ways a bridge between the written word and the oral medium ? This explains some part of Thomas’s deep involvement with poetry over many years. Thomas has also written a novel which is perhaps 300 years ahead of its time, and an apocalyptic play, which could well turn out to be performed at the end of the world.. whether it ends happily or not, depends on us.. the play has two alternate endings…
REVIEW OF IIPSGP DIRECTOR’S ACADEMIC KNOWLEDGE, TEACHING AND RESEARCH EXPERIENCE IN POETICS, LITERATURE AND PHILOLOGICAL STUDIES
STUDY AND WRITING: Commenced study of literature as a child, being read the tales and myths of Ancient Greece, Rome and the Scandinavian traditions; a keen reader from very early on, and a lover of poetry; started writing poetry at an early age and by 15 decided on a career as “a poet” followed by an early death (in the romantic tradition) but then discovered Philosophy and decided to live a long an fruitful life after all ! Studied literature at Brighton College including classical literature (Latin) and learned to appreciate poetry; continued at Brighton Hove and Sussex Grammar School and had very inspiring English teacher (Jack Smithies) who encouraged poetic and literary abilities; acted in school’s regular Shakespearean plays, and joined the Brighton Amateur Dramatic Society (acting in many plays) and auditioned for the National Youth Theatre. After leaving school spent some time living in the Lake District and gave poetry readings in Keswick. Did A levels in English and Ancient History studying with private tutor, and went to Bristol University and read Philosophy and English, but following death of father, went to Canada for private studies, and spent 4 years in extensive research into all periods of global philosophical and religious literatures. Continued writing poetry. Returned to London in 1981 and founded Philosophers and Historians for Peace, and spent two further years in private study in the British Museum. Wrote extensively and met several well known London literary figures and authors. Studied History degree at University of London, while continuing to run Philosophers for Peace, and worked on the history of East European and Russian literature, and founded Philosophy Society at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies. Invited regular speakers discussing all aspects of Balkan and Russian philosophy. Elected Coordinator of Philosophers for Peace worldwide in 1990 in Moscow, at a conference attended by many leading writers and philosophers from all over the world. Appointed to conduct feasibility study into establishing an Institute of Peace Studies in London University, and interviewed many writers and professor of literature concerned with working with literary theory and practice and teasing out anti-war or humane messages for global peace and war prevention in world literature. Studied world history and global literature and poetics, and ended up travelling in over 33 countries worldwide. Invited to present his poetry at the Struga Poetry Festival in 1998,1999 and 2000, founded the Order of Wandering Peace Poets and have continued to publish, and study global poetics ever since, as an adjunct to his philosophical, religious and historical teaching and research work. An unfinished chapter of his PhD thesis was to have explored the history of literature, poetry, drama and the novel from 1945-2001 and the search for peace. It remains in progress. Very interested in research into comparative etymology and the vocabulary of philosophical and religious terminologies, so authored the first ever Dictionary of Global Philosophical Terminology, with the help of a team of linguists and translators. Inspired to author first novel (currently in process of being published). Set up first ever interfaith mediation service in the world, following a visit to the Vatican in 1995, which offers also translation services in disputes involving languages and hermeneutics. Author of 6 volumes of poetry and one play (being currently read by theatre professionals with a view to performance). Author of work on the Cultural History of the Welsh Marches (in progress) based on ten years living in that region and lecturing and teaching there. Author of paper on the history of Romanticism for a Symposium in Wem, Shropshire. Became interested in the Celtic literatures and languages and studied Celtic traditions of religions and philosophy, lived in Wales for ten years and studied at the National Library of Wales and became an expert in Druid literature and traditions. Elected as Peace officer to the Council of British Druid Orders (1999) and appointed Mt Haemus Lecturer for the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids in 2010, and gave public lecture on Druidry and Transpersonal History at Salisbury Mediaeval Hall, September 2012, exploring the whole history of Celtic philosophical traditions and the Druid inheritance of Britain and Ireland over the millennia, including Druid links to other religious traditions (published October 2012). Studied for the Bardic and Ovate grades of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (2008-2012) and authored commentary on a set of own poems on Druidical themes. Studied linguistic aspects of current conflicts in Middle East and offered help with mediation via Foreign and Commonwealth Office and European Union.
|4.||“The Heart Of Mind & The Quest For Peace & World Order: A Psycho-Etymological & Historical Approach” 1992||Paper to Symposium In Memoriam for the Late Dom Sylvester Houedard (1925-1992) Chisolme House, Scotland|
|5.||Poetry For The Muses: Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, Urania||9 Volumes each named after a different Muse from Classical antiquity, written variously from 1976-2003|
|6a||Dictionary of Global Philosophical Terminology||A contribution to philological understanding|
|7.||The Memory of Light: a play for the end of Time||A theatrical piece starring the Gods and their interactions with humanity|
|46.||The Dictionary of New Words for a New Civilisation||A collaborative project on new coinages for a new age|
|57.||Preface for To Create a Peaceful Media Environment, 2000||Produced for the United Nations Society of Writers publication of “Peace Times” editorials, from the offices of Lama Gangchen, Italy|
|62.||The Order of Wandering Peace Poets: Founding Proposal and Report on the Struga Poetry Evenings (2000)||A survey of the growth of this international project of bringing together poets for peace|
|63.||Beyond the Apocalypse||A futuristic novel creating a new genre similar to, yet different from, science fiction, namely philosophical fiction|
|68||Religion and Literature, 2000||A survey of the complex and deep relationship between religion and literature, produced for the Ochrid Writers Symposium, Ochrid, Macedonia|
|87||Global Poetics and the search for Peace: 1945-2003||Based on a talk given to the Wilfred Owen Society, Shrewsbury, 2003|
|189||Collected poems of Thomas C. Daffern 1974-2003 Volume 1||The Collected poetic output, contains numbered poems 1-249|
|190||Collected poems of Thomas C. Daffern 1974-2003 Volume 2||The Collected poetic output contains numbered poems 250-432|
|216||Collected poems of Thomas C. Daffern 1974-2003 Volume 3||The Collected poetic output contains numbered poems 433 – 534|
|227||Collected poems of Thomas C. Daffern 2008-2010 Volume 4||The Collected poetic output contains numbered poems 535 – 636|
|234||Collected poems of Thomas C. Daffern 2010 – 2012 Volume 5||The Collected poetic output contains numbered poems 637 – 737|
|363||Collected poems of Thomas C. Daffern 2013 – 2015 Volume 6||The Collected poetic output contains numbered poems 738 – 903|
|521||Commentary on the Book of Enoch||A commentary on this important extra-canonical book that has influenced and inspired Islamic, Jewish and Christian thinkers, and which was known to William Blake and the Romantics|
|191||A Shropshire Lass||A new cycle of 35 poems written during 200-2003, inspired by the original A. E. Houseman poems “A Shropshire Lad”, set in and around the Shropshire hills|
|193||Romanticism, the search for global peace and the world situation: Towards a history of contested ideas||A paper prepared for a seminar in 2004 in Wem on the history of the romantic movement and its potential contributions towards a philosophy of peace|
|220.||Being and knowledge||Major philosophy study of relationship between epistemology and ontology, with large sections on literature, poetics, language, philology and etymology of ideas|
TEACHING: Teaching classes on History of Poetics and literature as part of general teaching duties covering history of Ideas and Religions on panel of London region WEA from 1992-2000 (focusing on religious literatures, including poetry, in Biblical studies)
Teaching classes on Literature and philology as part of overall teaching duties in History of Philosophy, Religions and Sciences for Birkbeck College, University of London 1993-1999 (including teaching a course on the history of language in religions, covering the sacred texts produced in different linguistic systems e.g. Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Chinese, Pali, Anglo-Saxon, Gaelic, Welsh, Ancient Egyptian, Sumerian, Babylonian, Phoenician, etc.)
Teaching classes on History of Philosophy, Religions and Science for University of Oxford 1997-2000 (including sharing linguistic observations on the terminology of comparative global philosophical vocabularies)
Teaching classes on Religious Studies and Philosophy in Secondary school sector (as part of teaching duties, mainly in religious studies and philosophy, but also always including literature element in classes, including encouraging all pupils to learn Ancient Greek alphabet, and read passages in New Testament in Greek, as well as encouraging Latin, plus encouraging knowledge of Anglo-Saxon and enabling younger pupils to make a set of Anglo-Saxon Runes and explaining their inner meanings in the context of Anglo Saxon religious beliefs; encouraging A level Philosophy students to use occasional German words for study of philosophy (e.g. Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger etc.) serving in schools in Powys, Shropshire, Coventry, Nottinghamshire and Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex, 2001-2010)
Taught adult education courses on history of ideas and philosophy in Shrewsbury and Montgomery and always included aspects of Welsh language and literature and their influence on English and wider European history of ideas (e.g. Arthurian literature) (2001-2004)
Taught 2 adult courses on Druid Studies in Argyll, Scotland, and examined vocabulary of Druidry in Gaelic, Welsh, Breton, etc. plus contributions to linguistics of Sir William Jones, founder of modern indo-European philology
Teaching courses on Transpersonal History: Defining a new field (Sussex and Argyll, 2010-2012) recorded for digital distribution, comprising some 100 hours of teaching time) – included relevance of transpersonal history to the history of literature, linguistics and poetics
Completed Philosophical work Being and Knowledge, including large sections on aesthetics, poetics and literature (9 volumes, 2008-2015)
RECENT EXPERIENCE: Extensive teaching experience on all aspects of general cultural studies, especially through the lens of transpersonal history; continuing giving adult education classes in Argyll, Scotland and hosting seminars and discussions at the Castle of the Muses for visiting thinkers from overseas. Also continuing own active career as a poet and writing numerous new poems as part of world travels, most recently in Israel, India, Spain, Greece, Slovenia, Italy, Vatican, Germany etc. Hosting visits to the Castle of the Muses by poets and bards and organising poetry readings and Symposia. Visited Athens in 2008 to complete novel and to visit the Parthenon. Currently editing local magazine/newsletter for cultural events called The Muses Voice. Visit to Spain in 2012 to co-write a new children’s novella, in Andalusia., and to complete a group of children’s poems, translated from Polish to English.
VISITS: to numerous libraries worldwide over many years with large collections of literary materials, including: The Library of Congress (USA), University of San Francisco, Berkley; UNESCO headquarters library Paris; New York Public Library; Harvard University; The British Library; The Hebrew University, Jerusalem; Oslo University; Stockholm International Peace Research Institute; University of Uppsala; University of Malmo; Bibliotheque National Paris; The National Library of Italy, Rome; University of Berlin; University of Warsaw; National Library of Macedonia Skopje (FYROM); The National Library of Russia, Moscow University of Keele; The London Library; University of London Libraries (LSE, Institute of Education, SOAS, SSEES, Imperial College, University College, Kings College, Senate House, Commonwealth Studies Institute, Institute for Germanic Studies), University of Manila (Philippines); De La Salle University (Manila, Philippines); Lucis Trust Library (London); St Andrews University Library; The Muslim College (London); Dr Williams Library, London; University of Edinburgh Library; Gregynog Hall Library (University of Wales); University of Birmingham Library); St Deiniols Library; Bodleian Library (University of Oxford); University of Cambridge Library, Glasgow University Library, National Library of Wales, The Vatican Library.
ACQUAINTANCE WITH THE LITERATURE: accrued large library over the years covering all aspects of literature and philology, covering poetry, poetics, literary criticism, linguistics, phonology, novels, drama, dictionaries, lexicons, global and comparative literature; extensive studies of history of literature conducted over 30 years, especially overlap[s between secular and sacred literature, in all cultures, including Chinese, Japanese, Indian, French, German, Greek (Ancient and Modern), Italian, Irish, Spanish, Russian etc. Accumulated basic collections of dictionaries in many languages to help with compiling Global Dictionary of Philosophical Terms, plus reference books on the history of dictionary-making and lexicography. Extensive user of internet resources on literature and literary studies.
COMMUNITY AND FAITH PARTICIPATION AND ACTIVITY: Longstanding member of numerous historical and learned societies involved with different aspects of the study of literature, books, languages and philology, including The Bibliographical Society (current member); founder of Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids as an international network of poets working for peace through the power of inspiration and the Muses; attended three Struga Poetry Festival in Macedonia as a visiting poet (1998,1999,2000) and invited to read poems on the famous Bridge over the River and to participate in poetry soirees, where the Order of Peace Poets was founded). Acted in Shakespeare plays as a youth, as well as Brecht and other dramatists work, as part of the Brighton Amateur Dramatic Society; auditioned of the national Youth Theatre in London; organised poetry readings and drama performances at the Castle of the Muses, and also at Chithurst Manor, Sussex, with Sarah Miles (widow of Robert Bolt, screen play writer for Doctor Zhivago, Man For All Seasons And Lawrence Of Arabia); invited to lecture to the Wilfred Owen Society in Shrewsbury; visited numerous poetry events in the Welsh Marches and gave lectures in Church Stretton to the Literature Society and other literary and poetic societies in the Welsh Marches area. Invited speaker at Stourbridge Arts festival.
COLLEAGUES, CONTACTS, FRIENDS, INFLUENCES: Influenced by famous Canadian poetess, Miriam Waddington, a family friend as a child); inspired by parents to cultivate a love of poetry and to start writing as a child; inspired by many famous poets form the past, but eventually met many living poets including Gary Snyder, Kathleen Raine, Jay Ramsay, Seamus Heaney, Eduard Sanguinetti, Irina Pavlova, Irina Mihajlovich, David Allan Stringer, Emmanuel Petrakis, James Cameron Parsons, Tricia McCannon, Gary James Stokes, Dan Jeremy Clouts, John Crowe, Sir George Trevelyan, Kathleen Raine, Jeannie Montague, Robert Gongloff, Billie R. Recher, Ronald and Merelyn Vonhogen, Carolyn Harris, Suzanne Wilkerson, Ivica Anteski, Songtao Li, Shi He, Changjiang Meng, Sasha Girov Gish, Roger Colombik, Razme Kumbaroski, Sonja Manojlovic, Roy Sadler, Edwin Llowarch, Jay Ramsay, Stourbrudge Unlimimted Poets, Dymock Poets Society, Lilian Brzoska, Goce Smilevski, Georgi Gachev, Sri Chinmoy, Bhikshuni Weisbrot (UN Society of Writers), Ana Jorda, Jennifer Borchers, Gordana Netkovska, Dr Angela Haun, Dr Richard Kirby, Martha Izsak, Laura Minnelli, Hans Janitschek, Pascal Gilevski, Hawk, Nisa Saiyid, Mark Whiting, Madelon Rose Logue, Joel Bernasor, Bruce Barnes, Sarah Rooke, Rev Simbeye, Ian Deal, Dativa Mwalewela, Desmond Tarrant, John R Litzenberg, Saviana Stanescu, Mary Napper, Dr Bernard Jones, Neringa Abrutyte, Toma Bintchev, Milan Orlic, John F Deane, Ozcem Erturk, Andres Ehin, Amir Or (Helicon, Society for the Advancement of Poetry in Israel), Muniam Alfakar, Rene Wadlow, Jaishanker Hill, Rowena Stone, Dr Maharaj Guru Kumari, Surjit Singh, Prof Raymond Williams, among others. Influenced also by many poets from former generations including T.S Eliot, John Donne, George Herbert, Wallace Stevens, R.S. Thomas, Dylan Thomas, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Rimbaud, Shelley, Keats, Shakespeare, Hart Crane, Virgil, Homer, Rumi, Taliesin, Amergin etc. Founded Order of Peace Poets, Bards and Druids as an international network of poets working for peace in order to continue and commemorate their work.
For further details of Thomas’ publications, peace mediation services, lectures, seminars, retreats, counselling services, research services, institutional activities etc please contact: http://www.educationaid.net and firstname.lastname@example.org. Many of his philosophical and academic publications are now also available at http://www.lulu.com/iipsgp – Audio recordings are available on line via http://musespress.wordpress.com/ The IIPSGP You Tube Channel also contains a wealth of further information about his work.
PARTIAL BIBLIOGRAPHY OF PUBLISHED WORKS:
Daffern T.C. The History And Purpose Of The Multifaith And Multicultural Mediation Service (MMMS) 1996-2001 in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Peacemaking and Peacebuilding: a survey of approaches in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern, T.C. Toward a Transpersonal History of the Search for Peace 1945-2001 (PhD thesis, 2009)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Towards A European Union Mediation Service (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2009)
Daffern, Thomas Clough The History Of Educational Ideas And Institutions And The Search For Peace 1945-2001 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2009)
Daffern, T.C. The Periodic Table Of The World’s Religious And Philosophical Traditions (2010)
Daffern T.C. What is Sufism ? in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. A checklist of early Christian writings: canonical, apocryphal and gnostic to 632 AD: a contribution to Judaeo-Christian-Islamic Dialogue in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays
Daffern, Thomas Clough Towards A History Of The Interrelations Of Marxism And Esotericism (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2008)
Daffern T.C. Towards an Islamic and Middle Eastern Peace Studies Association (IMEPSA) in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. World Philosophy and Peacemaking: a survey, 2003 in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Religion and Literature, 2000 in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. The Word in the World in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. On Paradigms, Global Philosophy And Peace – St Petersburg Conference – August 1995 in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Transpersonal History And The Israeli Palestinian Conflict: An Approach To Solving The Unsolvable in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Three Philosophical Problematics In Humiliation, Dignity And Peace Studies: “Recognition”, “Sophiaphobia” And “Philiaphobia” – Naming The Ghosts In The Mists Of The Peace Landscape in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. On The Potential Contributions Of Philosophy And Peace And World Order Studies To The Prevention Of Omnicide 1990 in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Transpersonal History And Peace Historiography – Exploring The Implications For The Philosophy Of History: Towards A Definition Of The Field (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2009)
Daffern T.C. On The Potential Of Psycho History & Intellectual History To Peace & Conflict Studies, 1989 in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Memory And Literature: Towards A General Theory, Illustrated By A Sequence Of Ten Poems in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Paper for the Convocation of Wisdom Schools, London, May 23-25, 1999
Daffern T.C. Holistic Images Of Peace In Andalusian Spirituality in Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. Selected Historical and Philosophical Essays (1985-2005)
Daffern T.C. The Qabalah Runes – A Comparative Philological And Philosophical Study Of The Qabala And The Runic Systems Of Esoteric Wisdom (2013)
Daffern T.C. Multifaith and Multicultural Mediation Service Handbook – Handbook on Peace, Justice and Mediation in World Religions (1996)
Daffern, T.C. Gandhi as a Religious Thinker for Peace: An overview of his contribution to the search for peace in the 20th century (in Celebrating Gandhi’s Life Work, Anglo- Indian Historical Society Centenary Publication) (London and Bombay, 1996)
Daffern, Thomas, editor Multilingual and Multifaith Dictionary of Peace and Global Philosophy, (First edition, 2000, Printed in the Journal of the International Institute for Peace Research and Global Philosophy, 6th Issue)
Daffern, T.C. Education For Peace & International Understanding In The Interwar Period 1918-1939: Towards A Prehistory Of Contemporary Peace and World Order Studies, (1991)
Daffern, T.C. Towards a Truth and Reconciliation Commission for the Middle East (2008)
Daffern, T.C. Feasibility Study On Peace Studies In The University Of London (1991)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Universal Calendar Of Saints And Sages (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2007)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Musings: Volume 1-5 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2007)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Wisdom Affairs: Towards A Cartography Of Enlightenment, Enlovement And Joyism For Wisdom Lovers (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2009)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Collected Poems Volumes 1-5 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2012)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Biographical Encyclopaedia A – Z Of Transpersonal Theorists, Historians, Psychologists And Philosophers 1945-2001 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2007)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Sophiaphobia (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2007)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Enlightenments (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2007)
Daffern, Thomas Clough The Philosophical Interpretation Of History (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2008)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Selected Philosophical And Historical Essays 1985-2005 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2006)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Druid Observations On A Cycle Of Poems 2004 – 2006 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2007)
Daffern, Thomas Clough Clio Encounters Thanatos: On The History Of Research Into Psychopathology, Violence And Aggression In Human Behaviour, War Psychology And Conflict Research 1945-2001 (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2009)
Daffern, Thomas Clough The Qabalah Runes: A Comparative Philological And Philosophical Study Of The Qabalah And The Runic Systems Of Esoteric Wisdom (IIPSGP Publications, USA, 2013)
Most of the above publications can be purchased from http://www.lulu.com/iipsgp in either a downloadable ebook format or as a hard copy.