Geography Education
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Religious Geographies

Religious Geographies | Geography Education |
Seth Dixon's insight:

I recently got my hands on a fabulous atlas entitled Mapping Mormonism which shows the historical geographies of this particular Christian denomination (see a review here).  I'll briefly share just this one cartogram above that is from the atlas; it displays territory not by the size of the landmass but by the LDS population living within the given territory.  While we would expect to see Utah to be very large on this cartogram, are there other pockets of large LDS populations that are surprising to you?  What explains the small spatial distribution patterns of limited diffusion that you see?  The LDS church is well-known for its missionary program and proselytizing efforts—does that play a role in this map?

On a related side note I found a curious political/religious map of the United States (a map that is partially explained by understanding some of the patterns on the map above).  The most typical religious maps show where particular religions are pre-dominant.  This map shows territories marked not by the faith of the residents but by the religion of the local congressmen.  This make me wonder:  Is this map religious or political? Is there valuable information to glean from this maps or is it simply a fun curiosity?  How does the religious geography of the United States impact political geography (or vice versa)?    

Tags: religion, culture, diffusion, mapping, historical, cartography.

Jacob Ramsey's comment, September 1, 2013 10:42 PM
Its really interesting how a so many people can collaborate on one topic to bring not only the history of a ideal, but the true history of a long line of people that were a big part of the development of the west in the United States. We always learn about how this and that president did something to help the country expand but it would very interesting to see how we as a country grew from the influences of someone outside of our own society. And not only does this book offer maps but it also includes charts and timelines!
Kendall Belleville's comment, September 2, 2013 5:11 PM
It is really cool to see how much of tho religions are in the United States. it is really nice to see that people are being supportive of them. It is interesting that there are large areas of religion and then some areas have very little.
Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 2014 12:30 AM

This map conveys the population of Mormons in each state. The sizes of the states are presented as corresponding the the Mormon population in each. The map links to more than what it shows. When you ask why are so many Mormons in Utah you can look into the past of Utah and the past of Mormons and you will find that Mormons settled in Utah following one of their leaders. You can then even ask the question why are Mormons still migrating to Utah or the question why did they stay there. Human geography can help us find the answers to these questions. A shared ideology among the community. A lack of repercussion for being open about their belief. A sense of belonging. Family connections. Human Geography help us unravel these mysteries which were brought to our attention by a simple map.

Regional spaces of Mormon's (such as the rather Formal region of Utah) are shown through the map and show the distribution of Mormonism throughout the world.

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