Enlightenment (Room 1)

Religion and ritual

Christian mistrust of superstition and idols, rituals and magic had led to ignorance about other religions around the world. Scholars in the Enlightenment attempted to dispel this ignorance by studying the ancient and modern religions they encountered. They researched rituals and cults in different cultures, collected religious artefacts, grouped gods into families and examined their attributes and functions, always searching for similarities that might shed light on the origins of the world’s religions.

Bronze container for cosmetic items; Charles Townley's cista mystica

Bronze container for cosmetic items – Charles Townley's cista mystica, 3rd century BC

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