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Thomas Cole and the Landscape of Evangelical Print

Thomas Cole and the Landscape of Evangelical Print

(p.29) 1 Thomas Cole and the Landscape of Evangelical Print
Apocalyptic Geographies
Jerome Tharaud
Princeton University Press

This chapter defines the central concept of evangelical space. It shows how the evangelical print that flooded the nation in the 1820s and 1830s combined with an emerging landscape art culture that produced spectacular visualizations of the evangelical spatial imagination. It also mentions illustrated religious tracts, almanacs, and Bibles alongside one of the most iconic landscape paintings of the period, Thomas Cole's View from Mount Holyoke, Northampton, Massachusetts, after a Thunderstorm. The chapter reveals that landscape art enacted a symbolic synthesis of two competing impulses in northern evangelical culture: the individual believer's inward pilgrimage toward God and the collective work of global missionary activism. It reconstructs an immersive form of looking closely that is tied to evangelical reading practices and shows how devout viewers used the landscape to orient themselves in sacred history.

Keywords:   evangelical space, evangelical print, Thomas Cole, landscape art, global missionary activism, sacred history

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