Archives For Maps

 

Longing For Pilgrimage

 
A Review of 
 

A World Transformed: Exploring the World of Medieval Spirituality
Lisa Deam

Paperback: Cascade Books, 2015.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]  [ Kindle ]
 
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.

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

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Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women
By Sarah Bessey

Read a review from Religion News  Service

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Here are a few new book releases from this week that are worth checking out:

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“Feet on the Ground and Hands in the Dirt

A review of
The Map As Art:
Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography
.
Katherine Harmon
and Gayle Clemans.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.


The Map As Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography.
Katherine Harmon and Gayle Clemans.

Paperback: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Maps can tell us a lot about the world; they are, after all, wayfinding devices. But beyond indicating locations in the physical world, maps also tell us a lot about who made them, and what they fundamentally view the world to be like.

Recall, for instance, the Western mapping of Lewis and Clark when compared alongside that of Native maps: the Corps of Discovery brought with them the post-Enlightenment maps we’ve all become accustomed to: views floating somewhere above the landscape, looking down. When asking directions of Natives along the way, Lewis and Clark were presented with completely different conceptions of space as it related to time and familiarity with actual places. Different methods of map-making indicate equally different epistemologies and ways of being in the world; the shift in meaning afforded by nuanced cartography has been well-developed in the last decades by artists, and many approaches are gathered together in The Map as Art: Contemporary Artists Explore Cartography by Katherine Harmon and Gayle Clemans. As they write:

Is there any motif so malleable, so ripe for appropriation, as maps? They can act as shorthand for ready metaphors: seeking location and experiencing dislocation, bringing order to chaos, exploring ratios of scale, charting new terrains. Maps act as backdrops for statements about politically imposed boundaries, territoriality, and other notions of power and projection… Like artworks, maps are selections about what they represent, and call out differences between collective knowledge and individual experience… (10).

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“Our complicity in the age
of ‘Cheap’ Oil and Hypermobility

A Review of

Interstate 69:
The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway
.

By Matt Dellinger.

Reviewed by Brent Aldrich.


Interstate 69:
The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway
.

By Matt Dellinger.

Hardback: Scribner, 2010.
Buy now: [ Amazon ]

Interstate 69 - DellingerDriving back home to Indianapolis from Evansville one night last year, a city in the southwestern most tip of the state, which I’ve only been through this once, I pulled out my Indiana road map to figure out how to get home. It was late, and so I started along the route that looked quickest – not a common choice for me, but there I was. And after just a couple of miles, signs began to appear to tell me that the Interstate was ending. I checked my map, and sure enough, a thick red line stretched all the way to Indianapolis, but it wasn’t here. I realized my mistake, as this was only, as my state-produced map indicated in its margin, the I-69 CORRIDOR, which I knew about only vaguely at the time, mostly from its huge opposition. And so, I took state roads back to Bloomington and on to home, much as I normally would.

I relate this incident because it seems now, as it did then, to indicate the power of an image – in this case a line drawn on a map – as representing a complex set of desires and hopes, beliefs, fears, and narratives about how the world works (or should work). The dream of Interstate 69, reaching from Canada to Mexico, via this route through Indiana, and down through Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, and Texas, has been in the air for multiple decades now, and its history tells the story of transportation in the States. Matt Dellinger’s Interstate 69: The Unfinished History of the Last Great American Highway starts down in Evansville, and winds down the path of the proposed I-69, meeting its advocates and adversaries all along the way; tracing the routes of rivers, trains, and state roads that all predated the Interstate system; and telling the stories of cities – large and small – that stand to feel the effect if I-69 ever reaches them: what the effect will be is the driving motivation behind anyone interested in the I-69 project, and is telling of broader beliefs about cities, economies, and communities; read this book with an atlas in your other hand.

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