How has water been perceived in different societies and across different eras of world history? How have these changing conceptions informed and influenced our ideas about society and ourselves? In "The Idea of Water" leading international scholars explore the rich record of our ideas, from the beliefs of early societies to the latest scientific views on the nature of this unique substance. Ranging across all aspects - scientific, cultural and religious - this important work both challenges conventional interpretations and understanding of water in nature and represents one of the first attempts to provide a history of our changing conceptions of the role and significance of water in human society.
Terje Tvedt is Professor of Geography at the University of Bergen and Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo. He is the author of a number of successful books and films on water issues, including The River Nile in the Age of the British (I.B. Tauris, 2004) and The River Nile in the Post-Colonial Age (I.B. Tauris 2009). He is series editor for the first History of Water series (3 volumes, I.B. Tauris, 2006). Terje Oestigaard is Research Fellow at the Centre for Development Studies at the University of Bergen. He has undertaken fieldwork in Bangladesh, Greece, Jordan, India, Nepal and Palestine and is the author of a number of books including (as co-editor) The Materiality of Death. Bodies, Burials, Beliefs (2008) and The World of Water (I.B. Tauris, 2006).