Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris Showing until: 14 January 2018
Developed in close association with representatives of numerous communities in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine, and with the help of Oeuvre d’Orient, Eastern Christians, 2000 years of history includes more than three hundred objects, including numerous heritage masterpieces, some of which have never been shown before in Europe and have been lent for the occasion by the communities themselves.
The exhibition presents, from Antiquity to the present, a journey though the religious, political, cultural, and artistic history of Christian communities and addresses the emergence in the pagan Roman Empire of a new religion that would, in the space of three centuries, take the place of the ancient gods.
The exhibition also shows how the Greek, Coptic, Assyrian Catholic/ Assyrian-Chaldean, Syriac, Armenian, and Maronite Churches were formed, against the backdrop of the founding theological debates. It also confirms that in spite of all of the vicissitudes of ancient and contemporary history, Christians in the Middle East are not residual traces of a defunct past, but real stakeholders in an Arab world, the construction of which they contributed to enormously.
Icon showing Saint Simeon Stylites the Elder and Saint Simeon Stylites the Younger Aleppo, Syria, before 1666