A Review of
A World Transformed: Exploring the World of Medieval Spirituality
Paperback: Cascade Books, 2015.
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Reviewed by Ellen Mandeville
With Jerusalem and Jesus’ crucifixion at its center, the Hereford Map orients East at the top, England in the lower left, and monsters at the edges. Created around the year 1300, it depicts the history, geography, and destiny of the world according to medieval Christianity. A single sheet of vellum measuring 5’ 2” high by 4’ 4” wide displays its artistry. The original viewers were pilgrims to England’s Hereford Cathedral, some of whom made the pilgrimage annually. Hereford Cathedral still displays the map year round.
Lisa Deam holds a Ph.D. in medieval art from Chicago University. Attempting to maintain a scholarly eye while writing her dissertation on the Hereford Map, Deam discovered “that there was really no way to separate medieval art from medieval faith and spirituality — and from my own faith.” (1) The crossroads of Deam’s scholarly work and her Christian faith has resulted in, A World Transformed: Exploring the World of Medieval Spirituality.