Jerrold Cuperus | Narrating Dutch Christianity: Secularism, Heritage, and Identity in Museum Catharijneconvent

Written by on June 1st, 2019 // Filed under 32.1 Religion and Secularism

Abstract

This article analyzes how a Dutch museum for Christian heritage uses objects to construct narratives about the entanglements of Christianity and Dutch history. The exhibition “Christianity in the Netherlands” presents a specific postsecular narrative, which positions its audience in a political discourse that emphasizes the Christian tradition of the Netherlands, but is potentially exclusionary to part of its audience. This article analyzes the exhibition and argues that viewing practices, and the sacralization of art and heritage figure into the construction of a national Dutch identity which privileges a specific cultural form of Christianity.