Religion in Museums

BuggelnLast week I posted about the American Bible Society’s proposed “Faith and Liberty Center.”  As they continue to build this center I would recommend that they take a look at a new book titled Religion in Museums: Global and Multidisciplinary Perspectives.  The book is edited by Gretchen Buggeln, Crispin Paine, and S. Brent Plate, all leaders in the field of religion and material culture.

Here is a taste of Paine’s post about the book at the blog of American Association for State and Local History:

The book has just come out. Its aim is to look at what is going on in museums now, to point to some of the issues that arise when religion meets museum, and to speculate a bit about the future. We invited scholars from all over the world and from a variety of disciplines, but especially museum workers: curators, learning staff and conservators.

Why are museums nowadays taking religion so much more seriously? One reason is surely the urgent need in so many countries to help communities understand each other–and for many of us our religion is a vital part of who we are. Another is certainly the way religion has become such a huge topic in the media, and so enormously important politically. In my own part of the world the collapse of organized religion means that the vast majority of television-watchers or museum-goers have no familiarity with any sort of faith. Yet we all urgently need to understand, and this is happening against the backdrop of the extraordinary worldwide boom in museums and museum-going.

Topics covered in Religion in Museums include repatriation, conservation, architectural design, exhibition, heritage, missionary collections, curation, collections and display, and the visitor’s experience. We’ve tried, too, to include plenty of case studies covering all sorts of museums in all sorts of places.

The book includes 27 essays by contributors from all over the world, in six sections:

  • Museum Buildings
  • Objects, Museums, Religions
  • Responses to Objects, Museums, & Religion
  • Museum Collecting and Research
  • Museum Interpretation of Religion and Religious Objects
  • Presenting Religion in a Variety of Museums

Read the entire post here.

One thought on “Religion in Museums

  1. Religon that is undefiled cannot be put into a man made building. James 1:27King James Version (KJV)27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world. They that are unspotted will have God’s law in them loving others even as God loves us. They will refuse to put heavy hand on people unable to pay a debt that they cannot pay.


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