Saturday, July 1, 2017

Exhibit showcases the earliest stirrings of American religious diversity

By Adelle M. Banks
Quotes from Jonathan Edwards, left, and Omar ibn Said in the “Religion in Early America” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks
WASHINGTON---Enter the “Religion in Early America” exhibit and there are objects you expect to find: Bibles, a hymnal and christening items. But on closer inspection, a broader picture of faith in the Colonial era emerges: a Bible translated into the language of the Wampanoag people, the Torah scroll of the first synagogue in North America and a text written by a slave who wanted to pass on the essentials of his Muslim heritage. The exhibit, which closes June 3 next year, is part of a larger initiative by the museum to feature religion in a variety of dimensions, including theater and musical presentations. [More]