This apparently unrecorded and gargantuan banner map on cloth depicts the World on Goode’s Homolosine Projection, and was published in New York by the Grinnell Litho. Co. for the Missionary Education Movement of the United States and Canada, a prominent Christian proselytizing organization. The map was likely made to grace the organization’s large meetings, as well as the walls of its mission offices across North America and beyond.
The map is remarkable cartographically for being one of the very first maps to be published on Goode’s Homolosine Projection, which was copyrighted by the University of Chicago Press only one year before the present map was issued. The projection was developed in 1923 by the geographer, Professor John Paul Goode, who endeavored to create a global projection that created less abstraction than the ubiquitous Mercator projection. Instead of dividing the world into the traditional double hemispheres, Goode placed interruptions in the North and South Atlantic, the South Pacific, the Indian ocean, and the East-West Meridian. The consequent ‘orange-peel’ shape allowed certain land masses, such as Greenland and eastern Russia, to be displayed uninterrupted, as well as better representing the scale of terrestrial areas at differing latitudes.
Otherwise, the map depicts the international political boundaries as they appeared between the World Wars, with a large British Empire upon which the sun never set.
At the very top of the map, in huge capitals, is the title, the famous a line of the Lord’s Prayer: Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done on Earth. The map features three inset charts in its lower portion: one explains Goode’s Homolosine Projection, while another gives land area and population statistics for the major regions of the world. Most, interesting, is the box featuring a chart which gives statistics of the main global religions. Christians, divided into Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Protestants, are by and far the largest group, making up 36% of the global population. Confucianists and Taoists are listed at 18.3%, Mohammedans (Muslims) at 13.9%, Hindus at 12.9 %, Buddhists at 7.9 %, Animists at 7.7%, Shintoists at 1.8%, Jews at 0.9%, and a further 0.9% as ‘Undisclosed’. The list is more enlightened than most other contemporary missionary maps, which tended to refer to the non-Abrahamic faiths as ‘heathen’.
The Missionary Education Movement of the United States and Canada was a Protestant non-denominational organisation dedicated to spreading Christianity in the United States and Canada. It was founded in 1902 under the name ‘Young People’s Missionary Movement’, changing its name to that featured in 1911. The organisation’s mission statement was:
“…to serve as a cooperative organization in which denominational home and foreign mission boards, departments of missionary education, boards of Christian education, and other agencies responsible for missionary education in the United States and Canada unite to publish missionary education materials, hold training schools and conferences, and carry on any other activities, which may be decided upon to further the cause of missionary education and carry out the desires of the constituent boards and agencies.”
The Movement had it heyday during the 1920s, when it attracted large crowds to its meetings in various cities across the continent. The present banner map would likely have been showcased at one of these large conferences. The Movement was merged into the National Council of Churches in 1950.
As already noted, the present map appears to be unrecorded; perhaps the lone survivor of a colossal ephemeral work.
References: N / A – Unrecorded.