Holy lands and theme parks: religious visitor attractions worldwide

Thursday 19 April 2018, 16.00-17.00
BP Lecture Theatre
Free, booking essential

As a burgeoning middle class seeks out modernity and fun as well as education and divine help, theme-parks are taking over much of the role of museums and much of the role of temples. This short talk by Crispin Paine, formerly Institute of Archaeology UCL, will report on a project to examine religion in visitor attractions worldwide.

Religion appears in many thousands of theme parks throughout the world. 'Religion parks', especially in India and the USA, are set up by religious groups to promote their faith. Examples are the Evangelical Christian Holy Land Experience in Orlando, Florida, and the Swaminarayan Hindu Akshardham in New Delhi. Religion also features strongly in cultural parks, both those themed (often nostalgically) on local culture, and those themed on 'exotic' foreign cultures. Such parks are common in China, Japan and South East Asia. Examples include the Buddhist Suoi Tien in Saigon and the Mormon Polynesia Park in Honolulu. The talk will look particularly at Bible-based attractions in the US, which the Palestine Exploration Fund recently enabled Crispin Paine to study.

The talk will touch on the underlying political agenda of many parks, the relationship of cultural parks to museums, the themes common to parks east and west (heaven and hell, the 'Holy Land', gods and monsters, religious leaders), the business context, and the impact on visitors.

In Detail

Events tickets

Holy lands and theme parks: religious visitor attractions worldwide

Thursday 19 April 2018

The Museum does not print or send out tickets for online purchases. Please ensure you bring your credit card or order confirmation e-mail to the exhibition entrance to gain admittance.

Having trouble with your order? You can email us at: tickets@britishmuseum.org
or call us on +44 (0)20 7323 8181

Become a Member for as little as £43 per person*

  • Free entry to all special exhibitions including:

    - Living with gods: peoples, places and worlds beyond (2 Nov 2017 - 8 Apr 2018)
    - Rodin and the art of ancient Greece (26 Apr 2018 – 29 Jul 2018)
  • Members-only events
  • Access to the Members' Room
  • Regular mailings, publications and discounts
Become a Member Continue booking

* Based on a Joint Membership by direct debit (£86 total).

Select ticket Choose date and time Confirm Your basket
Ticket Type Quantity Price
Total (including booking fees): £0.00

Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Sun
Your ticket has been added to your basket
Continue to basket