Five things to do in Novem­ber

BBC History Magazine - - Contents -

EX­HI­BI­TION

Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Re­li­gions

Ash­molean Mu­seum, Oxford 19 Oc­to­ber–18 Fe­bru­ary 2018

01865 278000 ash­molean.org/ex­hi­bi­tions/imag­in­ingthe­di­vine Oxford’s Ash­molean Mu­seum has launched an im­por­tant new ex­hi­bi­tion ex­am­in­ing the vis­ual cul­ture of the ear­li­est pe­ri­ods of ma­jor world re­li­gions: Bud­dhism, Chris­tian­ity, Hin­duism, Is­lam and Ju­daism. The prod­uct of new col­lab­o­ra­tive re­search by Oxford Uni­ver­sity and the Bri­tish Mu­seum, as well as con­tri­bu­tions by lead­ing schol­ars, the selec­tion of ob­jects will demon­strate the im­por­tance of im­agery in de­vel­op­ing and ex­plain­ing re­li­gious ideas through­out his­tory.

As well as draw­ing on the mu­seum’s own col­lec­tions, the ex­hi­bi­tion will also dis­play arte­facts on loan from a range of in­sti­tu­tions in­clud­ing the Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Mu­seum of Mace­do­nia and the pri­vately owned Sarikhani Col­lec­tion.

Among the items on show are some of the world’s old­est sur­viv­ing Qur’ans; early Chris­tian sar­cophagi, never be­fore ex­hib­ited; late an­cient Jewish arte­facts; and a host of rare maps, scrolls, draw­ings, coins, manuscripts and amulets. Early fig­u­ra­tive and pre-fig­u­ra­tive im­ages of the Bud­dha will also be on dis­play, to­gether with Vishnu avatars – be­lieved to be the in­car­na­tions of the Hindu de­ity on Earth.

The base of a third to fourth cen­tury AD gold and glass serv­ing dish from Italy, de­pict­ing a mar­ried cou­ple sur­rounded by bi­b­li­cal scenes of sal­va­tion

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