The exhibition, Imagining the Divine: Art and the Rise of World Religions, and its catalogue are results of a multi-year, collaborative research project between the British Museum and the University of Oxford entitled Empires of Faith. The research project's purpose was to explore the emergence of religious imagery and iconographies across Asia and Europe in different religious traditions between 200-800 C.E., while the focus of the exhibition and catalogue was slightly broader, covering the first-millennium development of five major world religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism (see here). The curators state that they set out to determine the early visual formulations that led to the iconic imagery...

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