Questions answered by Susan Rabbiner, Assistant Director of Exhibitions, The New York Public Library, and Kailen Rogers, Curatorial Associate, The New York Public Library.
What is the overall theme or idea behind this exhibit?
This exhibition is about the basic commonalities of the three Abrahamic faiths. These commonalities include monotheism, Abraham, revelation, and scriptures, all which are sections of the Three Faiths exhibit. These are addressed in more detail on the online exhibition at http://exhibitions.nypl.org/threefaiths/.
What is its relationship to the British Library exhibit, how it is different?
Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam was inspired by the British Library’s exhibition Sacred: Discover What We Share. That’s the only relationship. All of the materials on exhibit in Three Faiths belong to The New York Public Library, and the curatorial process was completely independent.
Was it in anyway conceived in response to conversations about faith that happened after 9/11 and/or around the proposed mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero?
Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam was more than two years in the making and was never a response to 9/11 or, obviously, the proposed mosque. The coincidental timing shows that the three faiths are current hot topics!
Has the library ever had a similar exhibition or is this a first of its kind?
We’ve mounted several shows based on manuscripts: Splendor of the Word: Medieval & Renaissance Manuscripts; Tyndale; Hebrew Books; Liturgical Manuscripts.If there's one thing you'd want our readers to know about this exhibition, what would it be?
The goal of Three Faiths is to provide an opportunity for New Yorkers and other visitors to experience a story about the religions that a large percentage of people follow. It is an opportunity for the public to see and experience materials in our collections that have rarely been shown.