Colloquia 27, edited by Alessandro Scafi. Published 2016. ISBN: 9781908590503.
Edited by Alessandro Scafi
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.