Apocalyptic Geographies

Religion, Media, and the American Landscape

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Jerome Tharaud
  • Princeton, NJ: 
    Princeton University Press
    , October
     2020.
     360 pages.
     $35.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780691200101.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

In nineteenth-century America, “apocalypse” referred not to the end of the world but to sacred revelation, and “geography” meant both the physical landscape and its representation in printed maps, atlases, and pictures. In Apocalyptic Geographies, Jerome Tharaud explores how white Protestant evangelicals used print and visual media to present the antebellum landscape as a “sacred space” of spiritual pilgrimage, and how devotional literature influenced secular society in important and surprising ways.

Reading across genres and media—including religious tracts and landscape paintings, domestic fiction and missionary memoirs, slave narratives and moving panoramas—Apocalyptic Geographies illuminates intersections of popular culture, the physical spaces of an expanding and urbanizing nation, and the spiritual narratives that ordinary Americans used to orient their lives. Placing works of literature and visual art—from Thomas Cole’s The Oxbow to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin and Henry David Thoreau’s Walden—into new contexts, Tharaud traces the rise of evangelical media, the controversy and backlash it engendered, and the role it played in shaping American modernity.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Jerome Tharaud is assistant professor of English at Brandeis University.

Comments

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.