Peoples, Places and Worlds Beyond
The British Museum
November- 8 April 2018
This exhibition explores the practice and expression of religious beliefs in the lives of individuals and communities around the world and through time. It also touches on the benefits and risks of these behaviours in terms of co-existence and conflict in societies such as 17th–18th-century Japan, China and the Soviet Union, as well as modern Europe.
Belief is a key aspect of human behaviour and the exhibition notes not only the mystical and sociological aspects of this, but also the innate neurological and psychological triggers. The similarities in the recurrent practices exhibited, despite great variation in what is believed, leads to the question of whether our species might be better known as Homo Religiosus rather than Homo Sapiens.
Visitors have the chance to not just see objects relating to world faiths, traditional indigenous, archaeological and modern civil practices but also experience the sounds, music and silence associated
with religious practice, with moments of surprise, achieved with atmospheric lighting effects.
The exhibition is accompanied by a BBC Radio 4 series and Penguin book written by former British Museum Director Neil MacGregor (published in March 2018). The radio series begins on 23rd October on BBC Radio 4.