Joscelyn Godwin was born in England in 1945, and educated as a choirboy at Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford, then as a music scholar at Radley College and Magdalene College, Cambridge. In 1966 he came to the United States and earned a Ph.D. in Musicology from Cornell University. After two years teaching in Cleveland, he returned to New York State and joined the music faculty at Colgate University. He has taught Music History at Colgate since 1971.
While still a schoolboy, Godwin discovered the Theosophical Society in America and famed psychoanalyst C.G. Jung, and found them wiser than his priests and teachers. Later he met Anthony Damiani, founder of Wisdom’s Goldenrod Philosophic Center near Ithaca, New York. In the 1970s he made several visits to Switzerland to see Paul Brunton, whose philosophy has had the strongest influence on him. He remains unattached to any religion or organization.
Godwin has published, edited, and translated over 30 books. Many of these treat the spiritual or philosophical dimensions of music and the Western esoteric tradition. He combines a sympathetic approach to spiritual realities with an academic’s regard for accuracy and impartiality.