Special Issue "Religion in Museums"

A special issue of Religions (ISSN 2077-1444).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 November 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Victoria S. Harrison

Professor of Philosophy, Philosophy and Religious Studies Programme, Humanities and Social Sciences Building (E21), University of Macau, Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau, SAR
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Philosophy of Religion; Intercultural Philosophy; Asian Philosophies; Philosophy and Material Culture; Philosophy of Museums

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The vital role museums play in mediating cultural values and educating the public about them has been the focus of much recent scholarship within cultural and museum studies. Carol Duncan’s Civilizing Rituals (1995) alerted scholars to the religious dimensions of contemporary museum practices, thereby expanding the discussion of religion and museums in unforeseen ways. Despite this timely intervention into a discourse that had tended to downplay the religious dimensions of museum collections and museum practices, and notwithstanding the central place of religious objects within many museums, there remains a need for more scholarship devoted to the topic of religion in museums. In fact, although the relevance of material culture to religious studies is now widely acknowledged, the topic of religion in museums received little focused attention until the publication of Crispin Paine’s pathbreaking work Religious Objects in Museums (2013). On the practical side, museum directors and curators have grappled creatively with the issues raised by Duncan, Paine and others, and their efforts have borne fruit in such noteworthy museums as the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Art and Life in Glasgow, Scotland, and the Museum of World Religions in Taipei, Taiwan (to name only two).

The aim of this volume is to bring together work by scholars in religious studies, museum studies, philosophy, and cognate disciplines that addresses issues related to the curation and exhibition of religious objects in museums or to the representation of religious ideas and values within museums. Questions that might be explored include, but are not restricted to: How do museums address the sacred realm? In what ways are (different) religions represented in museums? How are religious objects transformed when they enter museum collections? Is the distinction between a ‘religious’ and a ‘mundane’ object a helpful one to keep? How do tangible objects convey religious ideas or values? How are religious objects used in museums? What ethical issues arise from the curation and display of religious objects? Submissions are encouraged that address the topic in the light of one or more religious tradition, and those with an Asian perspective are especially welcome. In addition, papers might discuss the topic of religion in museums generally or in relation to specific museum collections or exhibits.

Prof. Dr. Victoria S. Harrison
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Religions is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charges (APCs) of 550 CHF (Swiss Francs) per published paper are partially funded by institutions through Knowledge Unlatched for a limited number of papers per year. Please contact the editorial office before submission to check whether KU waivers, or discounts are still available. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • museums
  • religious objects
  • material religion
  • Carol Duncan: Crispin Paine
  • curating religion

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Religions EISSN 2077-1444 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert Logo copyright Steve Bridenbaugh/UUA
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