Saturday, September 17, 2016

"Sacred Journeys" at Baylor

RELOCATION: Baylor museum to offer ‘Sacred Journeys’ exhibit (Harker Heights Herald).
WACO — Each year, more than 330 million people around the world journey to sacred places to perform acts of devotion, express faith or seek enlightenment or healing.

From Oct. 1 to Dec. 31, visitors to Baylor University’s Mayborn Museum Complex will learn about those pilgrimages through the exhibition National Geographic Sacred Journeys. The exhibit, created with National Geographic photography, recreates places, spaces and events so visitors can observe, discuss and learn about the history and beliefs behind spiritual travels around the world.

This marks the only time the 7,000-square-foot exhibition will travel from The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, where it opened in 2015.

The eight featured sites replicated in the exhibition include:

The Western Wall of the Second Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, Israel

Dome of the Rock mosque in Jerusalem, the site of Muhammad’s ascent to heaven

The Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, site of Jesus’ crucifixion

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, Mexico

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, birthplace of Buddhism, and the Bodh Tree, where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment in Bihar, India

Caves in the bluffs along the Dead Sea in Qumran, Israel, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered

The second one requires a bit of clarification. The story of Muhammad's night vision (Al-Miraj) is based on later interpretations of a couple of very allusive passages in the Qur'an. I have no reason to doubt the correctness of these interpretations, but what they claim is that Muhammad had a vision of ascending to heaven from Jerusalem. The "from Jerusalem" element was part of the vision. He never visited Jerusalem in non-visionary reality. More on this here and here.

The Sacred Journeys exhibition also includes fragments of Dead Sea Scrolls and a large stone from the Western Wall. The Indianapolis exhibition was noted here and here. Still no indication of which Dead Sea Scroll fragments are on display.