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31.10.2014 - 7.6.2015

The exhibition focuses on religions, an ancient but ever-topical subject. In addition to the world's religions, the exhibition sheds light on multicultural Finnishness, in which a wide spectrum of religions has firmly established itself.

What does religion mean? The definition is not self-evident. Many religions involve an idea of supernatural holiness, some are considered atheistic, and others believe that everything has a spirit. Some religions are based on old traditions linked with certain peoples or geographical areas, while others were established by real persons. What religions have in common is that they offer an explanation of the world and the world order and a foundation for shared activities and religious experience.

The exhibition presents Christianity, Islam and Judaism, which originated in the Middle East, the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Shinto as well as Chinese religions. Also introduced are natural religions, new religious movements, syncretism and the criticism of religion.

As a contrast to the distinguishing features, the theme sections present common themes shared by many religions. These include praying, sacrifices, ritual purity, celebrations and seasonal rituals, life after death, the cult of the deceased, asceticism, pilgrimage, happiness, protection and missionary work. You may notice new aspects in familiar things when they are linked with wider themes shared by many religions. Things and thoughts have circulated around the globe over hundreds and thousands of years, and local traditions have been mixed in with borrowed features.

The objects on display are also a combination of new and old things. The exhibition includes objects like sculpture and ritual equipment, modern amulets to hang on the rear-view mirror, and pilgrimage mementoes from Mecca, Indian temples and Jerusalem.


Manuscript by the Museum of Cultures / Heli Lahdentausta, Ildikó Lehtinen, Pilvi Vainonen
Exhibition architect Jenni Reuter
Lights Heli Nikunen
Videos and sound space Topi Heimonen/Telzer Media

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Press photos

Press release (pdf)

Further information

Pilvi Vainonen, Curator
tel. +358 40 128 6432

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