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Current student curates new library exhibition

15 November 2019

Sensing the sacred: the materiality and aurality of religious texts

This exhibition has been curated, in a first for Queen’s, by an undergraduate, Laetitia Pilgrim, who is a final-year history student. The exhibition invites a moment’s pause, using objects usually hidden within the shelves of the College's Special Collections Library, to provoke some reflection on sense and sacredness.

Laetitia says that as modernity moves on, with its screens and its secularism, both 'sense' and 'sacred' feel as if they are losing meaning. We increasingly live in a virtual world, bombarded by images fleetingly flashing on our phones, laptops, and television screens. Libraries are silent - but bands, orchestras and choirs simultaneously sound within each person's headphones. This exhibition invites the viewer to explore the delights and difficulties these senses have historically presented.

This exhibition includes medieval illuminations, early-modern iconoclasm, printed texts, and modern art. Together, they show the variety of ways in which people have negotiated the problems presented by the materiality of religious texts over time. Music and texts in a variety of languages are also displayed, exploring how religious ideas have been communicated through different sounds.

Visitors are welcome to come and look at the exhibition and should contact Queen’s Library for access details: library@queens.ox.ac.uk.

medieval manuscript illustration