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Museums of World Religions: Displaying the Divine, Shaping Cultures

Museums of World Religions: Displaying the Divine, Shaping Cultures

Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Year 18/11/2021
Pages 224
Version paperback
Readership level College/higher education
ISBN 9781350267138
Categories Comparative religion, Oriental religions, Sociology & anthropology, Museum, historic sites, gallery & art guides
$38.63 (with VAT)
171.73 PLN / €36.82 / £31.96
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Book description

Critically examining the notion of 'world religions', Charles D. Orzech compares five purpose-built museums of world religions and their online extensions. Inspired by the 19th and 20th century discipline of comparative religion, these museums seek to promote religious tolerance by representing religious diversity and by arguing for underlying kinship among religions. From locations in Europe (Marburg, Glasgow and St Petersburg), to North America (Quebec) to Asia (Taipei), each museum advances a particular cultural history. This book shows how the curation of the objects they contain shapes public perceptions of religion, giving material form to the discourses about religion and world religions. Raising important questions about religion and secularity, museum displays and religious piety, Museums of World Religions questions the ideology that informs these museums. Building on recent anthropological work on the agency of religious objects, the author critiques these museums and suggests new approaches to displaying the matter of religion.

Museums of World Religions: Displaying the Divine, Shaping Cultures

Table of contents

Preface and Acknowledgements
Part I: Displaying the Divine: Religious Objects and Comparison
1. Comparative Religion and World Religions Museums
2. The Body of God and the Matter of Religion
Part II: Five Museums of World Religions
3. The Numinous in Marburg: Rudolf Otto's Religionskundliche Sammlung
4. Atheism, Science, and the History of Religions: St. Petersburg's State Museum of the History of Religions
5. Religion and Local Knowledge: Quebec's Le Musee Des Religions du Monde
6. A Dialogical Museum: The Sacred Gaze and the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art
7. A Religious Museum: The Museum of World Religions in Taipei
Conclusion: Rethinking Museums of Religions

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