Religion in Museums

When museums and religion collide


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New and forthcoming books

Here are a few recent, new and forthcoming books that touch on the subject of religion and museums. If you come across any more, please share in the comments.

architectsbuddhistArchitects of Buddhist Leisure: Socially Disengaged Buddhism in Asia’s Museums, Monuments and Amusement Parks
Justin Thomas McDaniel

From the publisher’s website:
“Justin McDaniel looks at the growth of Asia’s culture of Buddhist leisure—what he calls “socially disengaged Buddhism”—through a study of architects responsible for monuments, museums, amusement parks, and other sites. In conversation with noted theorists of material and visual culture and anthropologists of art, McDaniel argues that such sites highlight the importance of public, leisure, and spectacle culture from a Buddhist perspective and illustrate how “secular” and “religious,” “public” and “private,” are in many ways false binaries.”

ars Dom Museum Wien Art, Religion, Society
Johanna Schwanberg

From the publisher’s website:
“The newly opened Dom Museum Wien houses the historic treasures of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, avant-garde classics of the Otto Mauer collection, as well as contemporary works. This volume commemorates the re-opening of the museum and presents fascinating items from the collections, as well as an account of the architectural re-design of the building, with text and images. Well-known authors analyze selected historic exhibits from the Middle Ages and the Baroque period, elaborating new perspectives.”

Righting America at the Creation Museumrighting-america
Susan L. Trollinger and William Vance Trollinger, Jr.

From the publisher’s website:
“In Righting America at the Creation Museum, Susan L. Trollinger and William Vance Trollinger, Jr., take readers on a fascinating tour of the museum. The Trollingers vividly describe and analyze its vast array of exhibits, placards, dioramas, and videos, from the Culture in Crisis Room, where videos depict sinful characters watching pornography or considering abortion, to the Natural Selection Room, where placards argue that natural selection doesn’t lead to evolution.”

sacredstuff Materiality and the Study of Religion – The Stuff of the Sacred
Editors: Tim Hutchings and Joanne McKenzie

From the publisher’s website:
“The chapters in this volume consider how objects become and cease to be sacred, how materiality can be used to contest access to public space and resources, and how religion is embodied and performed by individuals in their everyday lives. Contributors discuss the significance of the materiality of religion across different religious traditions and diverse geographical regions, paying close attention to gender, age, ethnicity, memory and politics.”