Interreligious Encounters in the Museum: Religious Borders and Crossings in Art and Artefacts
We may go to view Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, or Islamic art and artefacts in museums, perhaps each found in its own distinct section. However, art – like the religious worlds it depicts – does not exist in monolithic silos. We can see in an image of Jesus or a statue of Buddha a global dialogue of worldviews and cultures. This talk highlights the interreligious connections in embodied artefacts from the ACM collection and elsewhere, expressing syncretic flows and hybrid creations, as a step towards decolonising the human religious imagination. A discussion on the possible roles museums in Singapore can play in interreligious dialogue will follow.
About the Speaker
Dr Paul Hedges is Associate Professor in the Interreligious Relations in Plural Societies Programme, RSIS, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His research areas include interreligious studies, comparative theology, and theory and method in the study of religion. He has published fourteen books and over seventy academic papers. His two latest books are Understanding Religion: Theories and Methods for Studying Religiously Diverse Societies (California University Press, 2021) and Religious Hatred: Prejudice, Islamophobia, and Antisemitism in Global Context (Bloomsbury Academic, 2021).
About the Discussant
Conan Cheong is Assistant Curator for Southeast Asia at ACM, specialising in Buddhist and Hindu art. He received an MA in Art History and Archaeology under the Alphawood Scholarships at SOAS, University of London in 2018. At the museum since 2013, he most recently curated Living with Ink: The Collection of Dr Tan Tsze Chor (2019) and Fashionable in Asia (2021).
Image: Cross with the figure of Amitabha. Nagoya, Japan, 1945-50. Iron-copper alloy. ACM, 2011-02283
ACMtalks is supported by Kris Foundation
Kris Foundation is a non-profit initiative set up in 2009 by Kris Tan. The Foundation is dedicated to empowering young classical musicians in Singapore and the region through its scholarships, support of arts organisations and signature concert series.