Neil MacGregor on living with gods

News

THE modern human is by turns intrigued, bewildered, horrified and enraptured by religion. In a world where many people look to science to decipher the universe, there is something fascinating, and a bit frightening, about spiritual systems and codes which have commanded passionate loyalty among millions of people for millennia, but which are still impenetrable to outsiders.

It follows that any successful effort to explain or even just describe religion in broad strokes may be on to a winning streak. With a landmark exhibition, a BBC radio series and a forthcoming book that will sum up both, the British Museum and its collaborators are rising to that challenge.

It promises to be far more successful than any attempt to address the subject in a single medium could be. The project appeals, as most popular forms of religion do, to the mind, the eye and the ear.

A prime mover in this initiative is Neil MacGregor, the institution’s former director whose didactic skills as a…Continue reading

Powered by WPeMatico

News
Visualising the careers of musicians-turned-actors

THE news of Harry Styles’s casting in “Dunkirk” (2017) was met with bemusement. It was hard to imagine the boyband heartthrob, with his Mick Jagger-esque locks and floral suits, under siege on the beaches of northern France (rather than under siege from hordes of teenage girls). Did a short comic …

News
Britain could become basketball’s latest global outpost

FOR ONE night a year the O2 Arena, London’s biggest indoor stadium, belongs to basketball. On January 11th the 20,000-seat venue hosted its eighth regular-season fixture since 2011, between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, the former of whom are genuine championship contenders this season in the National Basketball …

News
Is art-connoisseur yet another job threatened by technology?

THE patient is carefully positioned on a pristine rectangular table. A signal is given, and from behind a glass wall, a technician directs an X-ray machine overhead. Zapping begins. This is not a hospital. It is the conservation laboratory of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Visits here were part of the …