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Meeting The Gods (1200 - 1400 AD)

From Mexico to Easter Island, the followers of many world religions used objects to become closer to their gods. Neil MacGregor finds five such devotional items

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Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island Statue

5/5 Neil MacGregor discusses one of the extraordinary giant figures from Easter Island.

Sat 10 Jul 2010 00:30 BBC Radio 4

See all previous episodes from A History of the World in 100 Objects

  • Meeting the Gods

    Meeting the Gods

    66: Holy Thorn Reliquary
    67: Icon of the Triumph of Orthodoxy
    68: Shiva and Parvati sculpture
    69: Sculpture of Huastec goddess
    70: Hoa Hakananai'a Easter Island statue

    Throughout the world during this period objects were used to bring the faithful closer to their gods. In the Western Church, pilgrims flocked to shrines to see holy relics, including the bodyparts of saints. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, images of Jesus and the saints were venerated in the form of icons. Hindu worshipers in India used statues to developing a personal relationship with individual Hindu gods. In Huastec Mexico, penitents visited statues of the mother goddess asking for forgiveness. The religion of Easter Islanders in the Pacific changed to reflect their deteriorating environment. Polynesians ceased worshiping statues of their ancestors and instead created a cult associated with the island’s diminishing bird population.

Shakespeare's Restless World

Image for Shakespeare's Restless World

Neil MacGregor uncovers Shakespeare's world through twenty objects.

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