'Australien und die inseln im Stillen Ocean’, 1905

This map is notable for the extensive area it covers, being characteristic of the widespread geographical distribution of missionary organizations around the world. The first thing that can be noticed on this map is the way Australia and the surrounding island groups are positioned in the main part and cut off by the outline.

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Rather than focusing more on Australia and the other Pacific island groups, as the title suggests, Asia and North America were chosen as a frame of reference for the reader. Since the regions of Japan, Asia, Alaska, and North America are not necessary to depict the missions, this was probably done to help the reader understand the geographical context of the archipelagos. As a result, the continent of Australia is partly placed outside the outline of the map and even cut off. Due to the chosen positioning, the map extends beyond the outlines and Australia is not fully displayed. Another striking aspect of this map is that it not only contains an international list of Protestant missionary organizations, but also identifies Catholic missions. The abundance of  Protestant and Catholic missions scattered throughout the Pacific puts the reader under the impression that the global spread of Christianity is a success story. Furthermore, this map subtly shows a number of landscape features, such as the presence of volcanoes on some islands (in the case of the Mauna Loa in Hawaii even including height) or the location of reefs around islands.

The map was published in the Minor Missionary Atlas to present the evangelical missionary work according to its current state from 1905 (first published in 1886), a short version of the General Missionary Atlas by Reinhold Grundemann (1836-1924). He was a prolific theologian who has professionalized missionary cartography. He produced a number of very high-quality missionary atlases, especially in comparison with the earlier, sometimes simple maps. Grundemann had studied theology in Tübingen, Halle, and Berlin, and became a pastor in 1861. His interest in missions and cartography led him to undertake missionary and study trips, where he collected material for the General Missionary Atlas, which was completed between 1867 and 1871 and appeared in four volumes (Africa 20 maps, Asia 29 maps, Polynesia 12 maps and America 11 maps). A smaller version, the Minor Missionary Atlas to present the evangelical missionary work according to its current state, appeared in 1886, and a renewed atlas, the New Missionary Atlas in 1896. Typical of Grundemann was the more scientific approach and precision of his maps. Where earlier maps, for example, only marked ‘heathen’ territory, Grundemann distinguished eight variants of natural religions in an exceptionally beautiful missionary world map.