Christianity, Islam and Judaism share a common forefather. All three religions share a reverence for Abraham. Abraham is credited with discovering monotheism. Belief in one God enabled religions to focus on action and philosophy of religion as opposed to constant appeasement of the many Gods. Thus it is not accident that Christianity, Islam and Judaism all focus on action and understanding of religion and have passed the test of time.
The article in the New York Times was written by Edward Rothstein who went to school with Judd Magilnick who is a member at the Pacific Jewish Center. Judd heaped high praise on the article and for good reason. The article threads a difficult needle. It recognizes that the exhibit’s focus is the commonality of the three religions while acknowledging the challenges, historic and current that the three religions face in modern times attempting to achieve a harmonious coexistence.
The actual exhibit features some stunning artifacts. An ancient Talmud, a 13th Century Hebrew Bible, a Guggenheim Bible and a 14th Century Quran are part of the exhibit.
I hope I will have a chance to see this exhibit, but I don’t foresee being in New York before the end of February when the exhibit ends.
So, if you can get to the museum, I would love to hear what you think about the exhibit.
As for me, I find the current tension between these three religions beyond annoying. I would love to see more mutual understanding between members of all sects of all these faiths. I know that when it comes to tolerance and coexistence some are better and some are worse than others. But in the current era it seems completely anachronistic to be fighting holy wars that began 2000 / 1000 / 500 / 100 years ago.
It’s just not worth it.
Exhibits like this that show the world and show us the common ground we share are important and hopefully will be a positive step towards all around tolerance.
Please see the article in the NY Times: Abraham’s Progeny, and Their Texts
And see the Exhibit Site: Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam