“Three Faiths” – A New Exhibit at the New York Public Library

October 25, 2010 § Leave a comment

Photo: New York Public Library

There is a new exhibit at the New York Public Library’s Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, “Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”  In their review on Saturday, The New York Times called it “stunning.”

Maybe you learned and forgot, or maybe you never learned in the first place, that three of the world’s religions share one source: the herdsman, Abraham.  The goal of this exhibit is to remind us of this, or to educate us anew:

Over the millennia, Jews, Christians, and Muslims have each created a rich body of founding texts and interpretive underpinnings for their respective faiths, each of which derives from the teachings of Abraham. This exhibition treats these three great Abrahamic religions, setting forth in splendid and historic detail the complementarities and differences among them, explaining their development, and exploring their lived experience through public and private prayer.

In an age when there is so much talk about Christians versus Muslims versus Jews, and the hijacking of the conversation by extremists, particularly in the case of Islam, this exhibition makes a timely a timely debut.  It’s the perfect moment for a history lesson or review.  Knowledge, understanding, tolerance … for free.  The exhibition runs through February 27, 2011.

I’ve written about the main branch of the New York Public Library previously.  Even without this fabulous exhibit, it’s one of the sites that I always recommend to visitors.  The Stephen A. Schwarzman Building is an architectural wonder; and it backs on to Bryant Park, one of my favorite parks in the city, in every season.  I just walked through the park the other day, and right now it is being readied for the holidays.  As of October 29th, the ice skating rink called Citi Pond will be open, and the structures that on November 5th will open as the The Holiday Shops are in place.

Go to the Library to brush up on your history and then to the Park to share in the joy of the season.


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