Lindsay Starkey

Aug 9, 2022

Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond

Redefining the Universe Through Natural Philosophy, Religious Reformations, and Sea Voyaging

Amsterdam University Press 2020

What is holding the oceans back from entirely flooding the earth? While a twenty-first century thinker may approach the answer to this question within a framework of gravity and geologic deep-time, Lindsay Starkey demonstrates in her monograph, Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond: Redefining the Universe Through Natural Philosophy, Religious Reformations, and Sea Voyaging (Amsterdam University Press, 2020) how thinkers from antiquity to the sixteen-century held their own beliefs explaining the complex relation between dry land and water. After providing a detailed intellectual genealogy connecting the Early Modern Period with antiquity based on the transmission of knowledge through bookish methods, Starkey provides an extensively researched analysis explaining how and why perspectives and concerns about water began shifting in the sixteenth century due to sea voyages that revised medieval speculation about geographic composition of land-mass and oceans in the southern hemisphere. As we join the bookish lineage with Encountering Water in Early Modern Europe and Beyond please enjoy the episode not just for the incredible insight into the past, but to use as an opportunity to reconsider our current water crisis.

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