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
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
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 release (pdf)
Pilvi Vainonen, Curator
tel. +358 40 128 6432