Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions

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Open now until 18 February 2018

This is the first major exhibition to explore the art of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam and Judaism as religion spread across the world in the first millennium AD.

Today, the visual identities of these world religions are distinctive and immediately recognizable, but new research by the British Museum and University of Oxford show that that these visual identities did not develop in isolation within each individual religion. Quite the opposite. As new belief systems developed and spread across ancient empires, they shaped the appearance of their gods in reaction to the religious images they encountered; adapting, adopting or rejecting what already existed.

The exhibition includes some of the world’s oldest religious works of art such as the first known depiction of Christ north of the Alps; and some of the first surviving Qurans. Visit this fascinating show and discover how these early representations were transformed over the centuries into the familiar iconography of the modern world.

Until 18 February 2018
www.ashmolean.org