Museums and Religion

Activiteit: Academic presentationAcademic


I gave an invited seminar at the "Museums and Religion" Course of the "Ma in Religion and Cultural Heritage" about "Sacred and Cultural Sensitive Objects in Museums".

Museums and religion have a complex relationship. On the one hand, some of the worlds most important museum collections are were created from the revolutionary destruction or colonial looting of sacred sites and religious communities. On the other hand, religious groups themselves have both in the past and the present been active in organizing and displaying their sacred, historical, and artistic treasures in order to express and assert aspects of their identity, and to attract visitors. Museums have been deliberately framed as "temples" of local, national, or world cultures; at the same time temples have been musealized.

This course provides an introduction to the history of the ambiguous relationship between museums and religion. We will learn fundamental concepts and approaches in the field of museum studies, in particular as these apply to religious objects, spaces, and practices. In a common project we will apply these theories creatively to a concrete local case study, for which we shall make a display proposal.
Gehouden opFaculty of Theology and Religious Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands.
Mate van erkenningInternational