Wednesday, 22 November 2017

thrones and dominions or bible-study

Admittedly sight unseen and despite the apparent participation on the part of an interfaith consortia of holy collections willing to loan relics to the new museum to showcase, the curatorial staff of Hyperallergic, we believe, are right to be critical of the privately owned and operated Museum of the Bible just opened in Washington, DC, concerned for its scholarship and presentation.
Many creeds claim the Bible in different ways and the narrative of Protestant evangelicals ought not to be privileged lest we want to validate these internecine characterisations that limn Christianity as monolithic as an accurate one. To have the status of museum accorded to an institution rather than reptile farm or amusement park comes with responsibility, and many traditions come out of one book. What do you think? Perhaps our concerns are too rarified and give the founders more credit than due as I suppose the property is just going to be used as a backdrop for selfies and a venue for gala events (notwithstanding the dubious authenticity of some of the artefacts and how this secretive provenance encourages looting and plunder) and though the collection is accessible to the public (for an admission price that enriches the coffers of the founders), it appears very much like the same sort of vehicle for tax-avoidance as those cavernous freeports that house the world’s biggest though off-limits galleries. The collection’s curriculum is hard to define and may indeed be just incidental to the tax-exemptions and concession-sales it brings but it does seem to be provocative with its statement that the US is a Christian nation governed by evangelic morality.  There’s always been corruption and black-markets but once there is government endorsement of such behaviour (hiding under the ægis of religion), we all stand to lose as greater austerity and sacrifice is justified with less tax-revenue coming in.