Patrick Ryan, S.J., the Laurence J. McGinley Professor of Religion and Society at Fordham, has helped assemble an exhibition at the New York Public Library showcasing the works of three Abrahamic religions.
“Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam” featured centuries-old sacred texts and ancient manuscripts when it opened on Oct. 22, in the Gottesman Exhibition Hall/Wachenheim Gallery at the library’s main branch at 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue.
“The exhibit fits in well with what I try to do in my McGinley Lectures—establish a ‘trialogue’ between these three forms of monotheistic faith,” Father Ryan said.
“From the rich holdings of the New York Public Library, we have selected several dozen books, manuscripts and objects that demonstrate the great similarities—as well as the considerable differences—that distinguish the faith traditions of Jews, Christians and Muslims,” Father Ryan said. “I have been particularly fascinated by some of the Coptic, Ethiopic and West African pieces on display, as well as the Arabic and Persian prayer books.”
The materials on display in the Gottesman Exhibition Hall range from the fifth century of the Common Era to the present, and include:
• the Hebrew Bible written by Joseph of Xanten (on the Rhine north of Cologne) in 1294;
• the Harkness Gospels, written in Landévennec, Brittany, around the year 900;
• the Qur’an completed by Husayn ibn Hasan in Turkey or Persia in 1333;
• as well as fifth-century amulets discovered in Jewish tombs, 18th-century depictions of Mecca and Medina, a first edition (1611) of the King James Bible, 17th-century Armenian Gospels and a 13th-century Samaritan Pentateuch.
The exhibit runs until Feb. 27.