SOAS Research Online

A Free Database of the Latest Research by SOAS Academics and PhD Students

[skip to content]

Tythacott, Louise (2017) 'Curating the Sacred: Exhibiting Buddhism at World Museum Liverpool.' Buddhist Studies Review, 34 (1). pp. 115-133.

Text - Accepted Version
Download (595kB) | Preview


This article explores issues involved in representing Buddhism in museums, drawing on the author’s experience of curating the Buddhism display at the World Museum Liverpool. It is concerned with processes of de-contextualization and re-contextualization, focussing on whether sacred images become divested of their religious functions once they enter a museum or if, instead, the gallery can be considered an alternative arena for contemplation. The article begins by reviewing the literature on museums and the sacred. It discusses the lack of concern historically for religion in museums, noting how sacred objects have tended to be ‘secularized’ in exhibitionary contexts. It then examines the Buddhism display at the World Museum Liverpool, part of the permanent World Cultures gallery which opened in 2005, with its reconstructions of a shrine, an altar and a protective chapel — this is a museological environment which deliberately evokes the atmosphere of a temple.

Item Type: Journal Article
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Arts > Department of the History of Art & Archaeology
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Department of History of Art and Archaeology
ISSN: 02652897
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 24 Jul 2014 08:41

Altmetric Data


Download activity - last 12 monthsShow export options
Downloads since deposit
6 month trend
6 month trend
Accesses by country - last 12 monthsShow export options
Accesses by referrer - last 12 monthsShow export options

Repository staff only

Edit Item Edit Item