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Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond: Redefining the Universe through Natural Philosophy, Religious Reformations, and Sea Voyaging
by Lindsay Starkey
Amsterdam University Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-90-485-4105-8

ABOUT THIS BOOK | TOC
ABOUT THIS BOOK
Both the Christian Bible and Aristotle's works suggest that water should entirely flood the earth. Though many ancient, medieval, and early modern Europeans relied on these works to understand and explore the relationships between water and earth, particularly sixteenth-century Europeans were especially concerned with why dry land existed. This book investigates why sixteenth-century Europeans were so interested in water's failure to submerge the earth when their predecessors had not been. Analyzing biblical commentaries as well as natural philosophical, geographical, and cosmographical texts from these periods, Lindsay Starkey shows that European sea voyages to the Southern Hemisphere combined with the traditional methods of European scholarship and religious reformations led sixteenth-century Europeans to reinterpret water and earth's ontological and spatial relationships. The manner in which they did so also sheds light on how we can respond to our current water crisis before it is too late.
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