“National Geographic Sacred Journeys”: National Geographic in US recreates Pilgrimage sites at Baylor Museum

This is the only time the 7,000-square-foot exhibition will travel from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Representational Image. Source: Pixabay

WACO, September 11, 2016: Every year, more than 330 million people around the world travel to the holy and sacred places across the globe to perform acts of devotion, express faith and belief in the Almighty, to look for answers within them or seek enlightenment or mending their souls.

An exhibition called, ‘National Geographic Sacred Journeys’ is organised at Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex dated from Oct 1 to Dec 31. This exhibition is created by National Geographic Photography and people will get to learn about the pilgrimages around the world through this.

This exhibition aims to rejuvenate places and events related to religious importance so  that the visitors can discover, study and understand the history, antiquity, and mindset of the spiritual travels from all around the world, mentioned baptiststandard.com.

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This is the only time the 7,000-square-foot exhibition will travel from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis. The exhibit has opened in the museum in 2015.

National Greographic Sacred Journeys Poster. Twitter
National Greographic Sacred Journeys Poster. Twitter

Featured sites replicated in the exhibition include the Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple, the Dome of the Rock mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Others points of attractions include:

  • The Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, to which all Muslims are expected to make a pilgrimage or Hajj, once in their lives
  • Tepeyac Hill and the Roman Catholic Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City
  • Allahabad and Sangam at the confluence of three rivers sacred to Hindus at the Ganges River in India, site of some of the largest gatherings of humans on earth
  • Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism, and the Bodh Tree, where Gautama Buddha was believed to have achieved enlightenment in Bihar, India
  • Caves in the bluffs along the Dead Sea in Qumran, Israel, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered

Among the relics featured in the exhibition are fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, a large stone from the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the trunk Brigham Young carried from New York to Utah, a piece of the Kiswa, throne built for the Dalai Lama’s U.S. visit in 2010, a replica of the Shroud of Turin, and a statue of Ganesha, the Hindu God of good fortune.

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According to the baptiststandard.com report, the personal stories of people who have participated in the sacred journeys are portrayed through the exhibit’s storyline, with vestige cases and text panels referencing those accounts.

“Children and families will have the opportunity to learn about pilgrimages, festivals and important objects connected to a variety of sacred sites in the world,” said Charles Walter, director of Mayborn Museum Complex.

“We are happy to bring this important exhibition to Central Texas and provide the tremendous opportunity for our visitors to engage with these truly unique artifacts and beautiful landscapes provided by National Geographic.” he further added.

In creating this exhibition, The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis worked closely with local religious leaders and a panel of academic experts in the humanities, theology, philosophy, world cultures and religious studies. The advisers shaped exhibit content to ensure the most authentic artifacts, texts, and other exhibit elements were selected and portrayed in an appropriate manner so visitors with diverse perspectives can understand them.

The most authentic artifacts, texts, and other exhibit elements were selected and portrayed in such a manner so that people with diverse perspectives and from different countries can understand them.

 “Many Americans associate the idea of pilgrimage with the Middle Ages, but in fact, it is a huge reality in the present world, something that affects literally billions of people,” said Philip Jenkins, professor of history at Baylor’s Institute for Studies of Religion to baptiststandard.com.

“Pilgrimage also provides a wonderful way of understanding religious impulses as they are expressed in different world faiths. So, we are dealing with something richly educational, something that provides a unique way of understanding different religious traditions, but it’s also breathtaking in terms of the beautiful places and buildings that will be explored.”

The exhibition is produced by The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis in collaboration with the National Geographic Society and made possible by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc. The presentation is by Nat Geo Photography is a good initiative as people will get to know the beliefs and the history related to other religions.

– by Arya Sharan of NewsGram