Drawing on programming experience with the unusual International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi, USA, I argue that museums can do more than retrieve and reinterpret past expressions of human intent for the sake of general education: they can stage purposeful encounters between visitors and exhibits that reinvigorate the practical relationships of living agents with their forerunners, as for example by bringing Jewish, Christian, and Muslim leaders and groups into contact with exhibits representing Islamic Moorish Spain to reflect explicitly on conditions of interreligious collaboration over time. Criticizing a recent turn to experience-centered historical inquiry and museum exhibits, I base my museum proposals on a conception of history as shared compound action, the interpretation of which is unpredictably affected by encounters with facts and artifacts.
|Keywords:||History, Action, International Museum of Muslim Cultures, Islamic Moorish Spain|
Professor, Philosophy, Religious Studies, Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, USA
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