Plants and gardens have always been a cornerstone of all major world religions and belief systems. The Fields of Reeds in Ancient Egypt, Eden in Christianity, the Isles of the Immortals in China and the Pure Land in Buddhist Japan are just some of the divine gardens promised to the faithful or earthly paradises imbued with symbolism and ritual. And in all religions plants have their own religious meanings and associations, ceremonial or ritualistic purpose and use.
Taking a global perspective and with a chronology of over 5000 years, Paradise Gardens examines, explores and interprets seventeen belief systems grouped into five themed sections. Each chapter will feature an especially significant earthly paradise and through this one garden will explore the wider religio-symbolic use of gardens and plants within the belief system. Dr Musgrave is able to explore and explain these gardens both within their religious framework but also within the wider contexts of garden history and the prevailing zeitgeist.