Cartography and Geography, History, Religion, Reviews

Review: Scafi, Mapping Paradise

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An August 26 review in the Wall Street Journal praises Alessandro Scafi’s new book Mapping Paradise for its groundbreaking “fresh look” at the historical practice of cartographically depicting paradise.
“His book is richer in text than images,” says the WSJ reviewer John J. Miller, “though the images are the highlight, and they are well presented. An ancient map rendered on faded parchment—labeled in a cramped script and written in a dead language—can be as incomprehensible to modern viewers as Mapquest directions would be to a Crusader seeking the Holy Land. Mr. Scafi displays originals and, where appropriate, offers close ups and diagrams to help decipher their content.”
The first book to show how paradise has been expressed in cartographic form throughout two millennia, Mapping Paradise reveals how the most deeply reflective thoughts about the ultimate destiny of all human life have been molded and remolded, generation by generation.