Three Faces of Monotheism
Bible Lands Museum, Jerusalem
June 10–October 2007
Monotheism, the belief in one God, is the link that binds Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The incorporeality of that God is a basic tenet of this belief and led to the proscription of figural representations of the divine. Three Faces of Monotheism investigates the symbols used by each of these three world religions to unite and identify their own adherents in the absence of other divine imagery.
The exhibition presents various artifacts from the Roman period to the 13th century A.D., including architectural elements, jewelry, ritual objects and more, which bear Jewish, Christian or Islamic religious symbols and reveal how these three faiths defined and represented their belief in the One God, both internally and to the outside world.
The mission of the Bible Lands Museum Jerusalem, founded by the late Dr. Elie Borowski, is to provide exhibitions and programs, where people of all faiths are welcome to learn and understand the shared history of the region. The catalog for Three Faces of Monotheism has been published in Hebrew, Arabic and English, and the entire exhibition is being presented trilingually.
Cradle of Christianity: Jewish and Christian Treasures from the Holy Land
Michael C. Carlos Museum (Emory University)
June 16–October 14, 2007
On the last leg of its three-venue U.S. tour, Cradle of Christianity will be on display at Emory’s Carlos Museum. Organized by the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, this exhibition explores the concurrent histories of early Christian and Jewish life through some of the most significant Biblical artifacts ever found, including the Temple Scroll, a first-century B.C. graffito of the Temple Menorah, a full-scale reconstruction of the chancel of a Byzantine-era church, and several daily objects decorated with Jewish symbols. The artifacts are divided into two major eras of religious significance: the final days of the Second Temple (30 B.C.–70 A.D.), when Jesus lived, and the period when formative Judaism and Christianity were developing side by side (fourth–seventh centuries A.D.). Scholars from Emory’s department of religion and school of theology have contributed their insights and commentary for the audio guide to the exhibition.
Unable to make the trip to Atlanta? You can still purchase Where Christianity Was Born, a collection of BAR articles that serves as a companion to the Cradle of Christianity exhibition. For more information about this book, visit www.biblicalarchaeology.org/store.
Music for the Masses: Illuminated Choir Books
J. Paul Getty Museum, Getty Center
Los Angeles, California
August 14–October 28, 2007
Some of the largest and most beautiful manuscripts that survive from the Middle Ages and Renaissance are books containing the music of Christian church ceremonies. Music for the Masses is an exhibition of more than 40 manuscripts and leaves from the Getty Museum’s collection that explores the various types of choir books and their illumination.
In early-medieval Europe, music was generally transmitted orally until the ninth century, when monks began to transcribe their melodies in choir books. Music manuscripts eventually grew to a large size so that the multiple members of a choir could sing from them. In the most lavish books, the beginning letters of each chant were enlarged and filled with scenes related to the hymns they introduced.
The exhibition surveys the types of books that contained music, the scenes that appear in choir books and the artists who painted them, the individuals who used these books, and the various forms of musical notation used to transcribe melodies. Recorded versions of selected chants from the manuscripts will accompany the exhibition.