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Blog Posts by Subject: Christianity

Christmas Books for Children

The holiday season is just beginning and I would like to recommend some holiday books in the library collections.Read More ›

Where the Hell is Hell? A Look at the Underworld

The Ancient Greeks believed it. Christians believe it. So do Muslims, Zoroastrians,

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God in the Stacks: The Scoop on Christian Fiction

You can say it started in 1678 with the publication of John Bunyan's Pilgrim Progress. Then along came Hall Caine's The Christian (1897) and C.S Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia in the 1950s. Fast forward to the 21st century, major news magazines such as Time were talking about the Left Behind series.Read More ›

2013: The Year of the Snake

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, the snake is equivalent to the Taurus in Western tradition. February 10th, 2013 to January 30th, 2014 will mark the Year of the Snake.

In the Chinese zodiac calendar, the snake is the sixth animal and symbolizes grace and calmness — it is introspective, cunning, and modest, but also mysterious, deceptive, and possessive. Those born in 2013, 2001, 1989 

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Finding Jesus at NYPL: A Research Guide

Perhaps no person in human history is more controversial than Jesus of Nazareth. The parable above (among many other well known ones) came from Jesus in the New Testament of the Christian

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Islam in Europe: A Resource Guide at NYPL

According to the BBC News, "Islam is widely considered Europe's fastest growing religion, with immigration and above average birth rates leading to a rapid increase in the Muslim population." There are currently over 15 million Muslims (Sunni and Shiite) living in Europe and Islam is currently the second largest religion in the world after Christianity.

This blog post will focus on NYPL’s rich collection on the history of Islam in Europe: past and present; the historical, political, cultural, and 

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Gold, Freedom, Faith, and Baroque in Brazil

I had not slept for 34 hours. After a bad flight and two long bus trips, I was hiking, ecstatic, in a muddy mine. I touched the walls from top to bottom. Perhaps “he” had put his hands there too. I was walking in the steps of Galanga, renamed Francisco, and known as Chico Rei (King Chico).

Story -or legend-has it that 270 years ago, Chico Rei, believed to have been a ruler in Congo, his family, and others were forced aboard a slave ship. The Middle Passage took his wife and children, but he and one son survived. They landed in Brazil and were sent to Vila 

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Notes From a Life-Long Learner: God — To Be(lieve) or Not To Be(lieve)

I spent a recent weekend pondering the existence of God. It’s something I do from time to time because I was a religious person once, in the Judeo/Christian tradition, but am not so now. After many years, I’m still getting used to living without that label. I have to admit, my non-religious years have been very good years.

One interesting documentary that makes a case against the Judeo/Christian God is called The God Who Wasn’t There. It presents the story of

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The Music Division's Patron Saint, Katharine Drexel

On Sunday, the first of October, 2000 in Rome, Pope John Paul II presided over the ceremony that would elevate Philadelphia born Katharine Drexel to sainthood. It’s doubtful that few, if any of the thousands present that rainy day in St. Peter’s Square were aware of the connection between the second American saint to be so designated and the collections of the Music Division of The New York Public Library.   Katharine Drexel was born on 26 November, 1858 in Philadelphia. As a child of the prominent Drexel ... Read More ›

Harlem Library Cinema Series @ George Bruce - May 2011

Have you found your calling? The May film screening from The National Black Programming Consortium, The Calling, explores this topic as it follows seven people who feel that they have found theirs.

From the NBPC website you find the following description:

It takes a true calling to make faith a way of life. The Calling is a four hour documentary series that follows seven Muslims, Catholics, Evangelical Christians and Jews on a dramatic journey—training to become professional clergy. Embarking on life 

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Religious Tolerance Booklist

The New York Public Library's Three Faiths exhibition explores the commonalities between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  But what of the other faiths of the world? There is much to be learned from all of them. Here is a selection of recently published books that discuss those differences as well as the importance of promoting greater tolerance and understanding.

Beyond Tolerance: Searching for Interfaith 

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Spencer Collection Book of the Month: Correspondence of St. Jerome

When I started blogging last May, I hoped to post frequently, but my "day job" of cataloging the books I'd like to write about kept getting in the way. This year, I made a New Year's resolution to blog more regularly. To get started, I thought I would pick a "Spencer Collection Book of the Month" at the beginning of each month and write a short post about it—just enough to share with my readers some of the things that make it special, because the Spencer 

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The 411 on Faith: Where Sacred Texts Meet City Life

So where is faith, exactly? What is the 411? Where can we see the role of religion in our lives and communities? The answer, of course, is pretty much everywhere. Religion, it seems, is all over the place, even in our relatively secular “modern” society. But where should we look if we want to understand the religious traditions of our neighbors? What kinds of things should we focus on?

These are some of the questions posed both by NYPL’s  exhibit, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam

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New York’s Gilded Age of Liturgical Music—and How it Ended

A New York choir rehearses in the 1870s.For millennia, worship has been coupled with music. This bond often has been an uneasy one, and nowhere has that uneasiness been so openly displayed as in the churches of New York City. Beginning in the Colonial era, when a handful of musicians stubbornly tried to practice their craft in the face of indifference and puritanical sneers, New York's liturgical music slowly gained in artistry until it reached dizzying heights in the Gilded Age of the 19th century. By that time, many of the city's churches had become famous for services that featured 

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Field Trip! Adult Literacy Students Visit Three Faiths Exhibit

Students outside the Three Faiths exhibitLast week, students from the Seward Park Library's Center for Reading and Writing, the Library's free adult literacy program, took a field trip to the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building to see the exhibit, Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

As the group trundled up the library 

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Shazam! The Power of Language in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam

Hebrew text of first words of GenesisFrom “Abracadabra” to “Shazam,” and from “Say the magic word” to “Open Sesame,” humans have long believed that words and languages have a power far beyond and far deeper than their simple rational meanings.

The ancient peoples of Mesopotamia developed a mythological explanation for this belief. Humans, the ancient legend of the Tower of Babel story goes, once spoke a divine language, the language God gave to us. This divine language enabled the first humans to communicate with God 

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Students at Seward Park Adult Literacy Program Discuss Three Faiths Exhibit

Last week, a group of adult students and volunteer tutors at the Seward Park Library's Center for Reading and Writing, the library's free adult literacy program, gathered for an introduction to the Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam exhibit at Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and to gauge interest in a field trip. 

"Who has been to the 42nd Street Library—the 

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Historical Perspectives on the Three Faiths

If the Three Faiths exhibit has piqued your curiosity, here are five books that offer some historical background to the origin and development of the three religious traditions.

Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths Bruce Feiler New York: W. Morrow, 2002

The author presents Abraham as he is portrayed in all three 

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Languages of God: The Word as Decoration

The First Polyglot Psalter, Psalter, in Hebrew, Greek, Arabic, and Aramaic; Genoa: Petrus Paulus Porrus, 1516The New York Public Library, Rare Book DivisionJews and Muslims have a particular attachment to languages as expressions of the Word of God. Hebrew and Arabic are both sacred languages since both are in a sense the language of God Himself.

But there is an important difference. The Jews lost their Hebrew as a living language while the Bible was still 

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