For more than 100 years, The New York Public Library has collected thousands of religious books and manuscripts in order to preserve and make accessible the rich history of world religions, including the three Abrahamic faiths: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Drawn from divisions across the Library’s research collections, the objects on display represent centuries of creativity that tell the story of these religions and the varied interactions among followers of different belief systems.
Several major figures central to the Torah, the Bible, and the Qur’an have inspired interfaith encounters. While chronicles of the three monotheistic faiths are full of examples of intolerance and conflict, they also tell of coexistence and mutual understanding. Such acts are modeled on the hospitality of Abraham, the motherhood of Mary, and the heroic deeds of other holy figures, including Moses, Elijah, St. George, and Khidr.
Shared Sacred Sites highlights the importance of these figures—and the shared worship they have inspired—by tracing them through texts drawn from the rich collections of the Library.