Skip to main content

Distributed for Warburg Institute

The Cosmography of Paradise

The Cosmography of Paradise: The Other World from Ancient Mesopotamia to Medieval Europe considers the general theme of paradise from various comparative perspectives. The focus has been on the way the relationship between ‘the other world’ and the structure of the whole cosmos has been viewed in different ages and traditions around the Mediterranean basin, spanning from the ancient Near East to medieval Europe. Scholars coming from different fields discuss in this volume the various ways the relationship between paradise and the general features of the universe has been viewed within their own field of work. The historical formation of the notion of paradise, defined as a perfect state beyond time and space, relied heavily upon a variety of temporally and culturally conditioned concepts of the physical cosmos as a finite and imperfect realm. It is precisely the emphasis on cosmography that allows the discussion of several traditions: Sumerian, ancient Iranian, Greek, Jewish, early Christian, Gnostic, Byzantine, Islamic, Scandinavian, and Latin Western.

View all books from University of London Press

Table of Contents

Introduction (pp. 1–7) Alessandro Sca? The Birth of Paradise: To Early Christianity, via Greece, Persia and Israel (pp. 9–30) Jan N. Bremmer Sumerian Paradise Lost (pp. 31–37) Markham J. Geller Around, Inside and Beyond the Walls: Names, Ideas and Images of Paradise in Pre-Islamic Iran (pp. 39–66) Antonio C. D. Panaino Enoch, Eden, and the Beginnings of Jewish Cosmography (pp. 67–94) Annette Yoshiko Reed Gnostic Paradises (pp. 95–107) Einar Thomassen Diabolizing the Garden of Eden: Re-Interpretations of Jewish Pseudepigraphy in Medieval Christian Dualism (pp. 109–125) Yuri Stoyanov Seeking Paradise in the Egyptian Desert (pp. 127–135) Dimitris J. Kyrtatas Gazing at the Holy Mountain: Images of Paradise in Syriac Christian Tradition (pp. 137–162) Sergey Minov Food and the Senses, and One Very Special Taste of Paradise (pp. 163–181) Danuta Shanzer ‘The Heavens Declare the Glory of God’: Mapping Cosmos and Activating Heaven through Holy Icons (pp. 183–200) Veronica Della Dora Paradise in Western Medieval Tradition (pp. 201–210) Rudolf Simek Paradise in the Islamic Religious Imagination (pp. 211–226) Christian Lange In Medieval Islamic Cosmography, where is Paradise? (pp. 227–243) Emilie Savage-Smith Valhalla and Heaven: Scandinavian Images of Paradise in a Period of Religious Change (pp. 245–266) Anders Hultgård Colour plates (pp. 269–284) Index of Names (pp. 285–295)

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press