Beyond materiality
: Religion and ritual in museums and heritage sites

  • Emma J. McAlister

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


In recent years, religion and the display of religious objects in museums have received increased scholarly attention. This thesis examines meaning-making ritual behaviour, architectural space and material culture through an ethnographic case-study approach, comparing church space, purpose-built museum space and heritage sites. This research adds to the understanding of the tensions that exist by the contemporary display of religion in museums due to the European museums’ colonial and Christian foundations.

Thesis embargoed until 31 July 2027.
Date of AwardJul 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Queen's University Belfast
SponsorsNorthern Ireland Department for the Economy
SupervisorVeronique Altglas (Supervisor) & Leonie Hannan (Supervisor)


  • Ritual
  • museum
  • heritage
  • space
  • religion
  • material culture

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