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Adult Programs

Three Faiths Programs listing on nypl.org

THE 411 ON FAITH: COMMUNITIES IN DIALOGUE
In partnership with the Interfaith Center of New York, The New York Public Library offers a series of conversations with local spiritual leaders moderated by Henry Goldschmidt, the Education Program Associate at the center and the author of Race and Religion Among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights. Topics will include belief, worship, and how religious traditions shape everyday life in New York City. This program is supported by the Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Huguenot • Thursday, October 28, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
Countee Cullen • Wednesday, November 3, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.
Parkchester• Tuesday, November 16, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
Woodlawn Heights • Wednesday, December 15, 2010 • 5:00 p.m.
Mulberry Street • Wednesday, January 5, 2011 • 6:00 p.m.
St. Agnes • Thursday, January 18, 2011 • 5:30 p.m.
Webster • Thursday, February 17, 2011 • 6:00 p.m.
Riverdale • Tuesday, February 22, 2011 • 6:00 p.m.

AUTHOR @ NYPL

Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy — A Righteous Gentile Versus the Third Reich
Eric Metaxas
As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a small number of dissidents worked to dismantle the Third Reich from the inside. Eric Metaxas, a New York Times best-selling author, provides new insight into Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a pastor and author known as much for writing Christian classics as for his part in the plot to assassinate Hitler. Metaxas’s book is the first major biography of Bonhoeffer in 40 years.

Mid-Manhattan • Thursday, January 13, 2011 • 6:30 p.m.

Fifth Avenue Famous: The Extraordinary Story of Music at St. Patrick's Cathedral
Salvatore Basile
As the seat of the Catholic Church of New York City, St. Patrick's Cathedral has played an integral role in the history of one of the most diverse communities in the world for well over a century. Salvatore Basile, Cathedral Music Historian, soloist, and Senior Cantor of the Cathedral Choir at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, provides insight into the colorful history of this spiritual and architectural landmark and its choir.

Mid-Manhattan • Monday, November 29, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

Jews and Muslims in Christian America
Charles L. Cohen
The predominantly Protestant early settlement of Anglo-America created a culture with Christian ground rules that subsequent immigrants have had to navigate. In this lecture, Charles L. Cohen, Professor of History and Religious Studies and the Director of The Lubar Institute for the Study of the Abrahamic Religions at The University of Wisconsin, explores the measures that Jews and Muslims have taken to accommodate these rules, as well as the implications that Christian norms have for American society.

Mid-Manhattan • Thursday, January 20, 2011 • 6:30 p.m.

Life in Year One: What the World Was Like in First-century Palestine
Scott M. Korb
The world of ordinary people in first-century Palestine is virtually unknown. In this illustrated lecture, Scott Korb, the author of Life in Year One and other books, offers a window into everyday life during the time of Jesus.

Mid-Manhattan • Wednesday, December 15, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

Living in the Moment
Laura Kruger
Modern Jewish ceremonial and ritual objects are shaped by the experiences of the contemporary artisans who create them. In this lecture, Laura Kruger, curator of the Hebrew Union College Museum, provides a visual presentation that explores the works of leading and emerging artisans who are inspired by pushing the boundaries of their own spiritual experiences, as well as their deep understanding of traditional texts.

Mid-Manhattan • Tuesday, December 21, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

Local Faith Communities: A Documentary Screening and Talk with Anthony Donovan
There is tremendous diversity among the faith leaders of New York City's East Village. In Local Faith Communities, Anthony Donovan, an award-winning documentarian with a lifelong passion for intercultural and interfaith work in New York City, profiles these leaders and their collaborations on behalf of their shared community. After the screening, Donovan discusses the history and purpose of the documentary and answers questions.

Mid-Manhattan • Thursday, December 16, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

The Messiah from Judaism, Christianity, and Islam to Modern Popular Culture
Ronald J. Brown
The concept of a messiah has inspired and motivated each of the Abrahamic traditions throughout the centuries. In this lecture, Ronald J. Brown, Associate Professor at Touro College and Unification Theological Seminary, demonstrates its continued importance to both new religious movements and popular contemporary filmmakers and writers.

Mid-Manhattan • Monday, February 7, 2011 • 6:30 p.m.

My Race: A Jewish Girl Growing Up Under Apartheid in South Africa
Lorraine Abramson
Lorraine Abramson grew up a gifted Jewish athlete under the apartheid system of South Africa. She experienced life both on the outside of the Christian mainstream and on the inside of a white supremacist society. Abramson discusses the experiences revealed in her memoir, My Race, which is scheduled for release in October 2010.

Yorkville • Saturday, October 23, 2010 • 1:30 p.m.

Pioneer of Tolerance: Jacques Marchais' Passion for Tibet, Her Tibetan Museum, and the Beginnings of American Buddhism
S
arah Johnson, Ph.D.
Jacques Marchais (1887–1948) was an important collector and respected expert on Tibetan art. Her collection of Himalayan objects is now on display at the Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art on Staten Island. In this richly illustrated talk, Sarah Johnson, an art historian and scholar of American Buddhism, reveals the story of this pioneering American woman.

Mid-Manhattan • Thursday, December 9, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement
Lauren Sandler
Lauren Sandler discusses Righteous: Dispatches from the Evangelical Youth Movement, which was hailed by the Washington Post as “an intriguing journey into a burgeoning and often contradictory phenomenon.” Sandler has contributed journalism and opinion about culture, politics, and religion to many publications, including The Atlantic, The New Republic, Slate, The Nation, Mother Jones, and The New York Times.

Mulberry Street • Wednesday, December 15, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

Sacred Languages in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam
Ronald J. Brown
From “Mumbo Jumbo” to “Open Sesame,” humans have long recognized that words and languages have a power beyond their simple rational meanings. Ronald J. Brown, Associate Professor at Touro College and Unification Theological Seminary, explores the mystical and holy meaning that Jews, Christians, and Muslims ascribe to the languages in which they worship and the words that they use in celebration, study, and prayer.

Mid-Manhattan • Monday, December 6, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

Venerating the Books: Rituals and Magic Surrounding the Scriptures of the Three Abrahamic Faiths
Ronald J. Brown
All three “Religions of the Book” venerate their texts as sacred representations of divinity. Ronald J. Brown, Associate Professor at Touro College and Unification Theological Seminary, discusses the common points and differences among the Abrahamic faiths in their sacramental treatment of scripture, its powers, origin, rituals, and ceremonial adornment.

Mid-Manhattan • Monday, October 25, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.

THE CELEBRATE 350 LECTURE

"That Obnoxious Order": Ulysses S. Grant and the Jews
Dr. Jonathan Sarna
During the Civil War, General Ulysses S. Grant issued an order to expel all Jews from his war zone. Dr. Jonathan Sarna, the Joseph H. & Belle R. Braun Professor of American Jewish History at Brandeis University and Chief Historian of the new National Museum of American Jewish History, will explore how the repercussions of this order influenced Grant’s subsequent presidency and the American Jews of his day. Dr. Sarna was Chief Historian for the 350th commemoration of the American Jewish community and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

This lecture is made possible by a grant from the Celebrate 350: Jewish Life in America Foundation, which commemorates the 1654 establishment in New Amsterdam of the first Jewish community in North America.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building • Wednesday, November 3, 2010 • 7:00 p.m.

DOCUMENTING FAITH: A FILM SERIES
Documentary films from the Library’s extensive collections illuminate poignant — and sometimes surprising — aspects of religious experience around the world.

African Sanctus During his travels to East Africa, English composer-explorer David Fanshawe recorded many examples of indigenous music. He combined these with his own compositions to form a large-scale choral work of the Latin Mass, which he named African Sanctus. This BBC production re-creates his musical explorations in Africa from 1966 to 1973. Fanshawe's research on music also sheds light on the cultural changes taking place in Africa as a result of Western influence. (1977, 49 minutes)

Allerton • Saturday, December 4, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.  

Covered Girls Three Muslim-American high school girls in New York choose to dress according to their faith, yet lead very contemporary lives. This film documents their daily experiences. One coaches her high school basketball team, the second has a black belt in karate, and the third is shown cutting a CD of original rap songs. (2003, 22 minutes)

Muhlenberg Library • Thursday, October 21, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
115th Street Library • Monday, November 8, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
Richmondtown • Saturday, February 5, 2011 • 2:30 p.m.

Day of the Dead, All Souls Day in Mexico
The "Day of the Dead" is All Souls Day in Mexico, a religious holy day marked by an annual celebration and special events. This film explores the rituals meant to guide the dead on their journey to their new home. Celebrations that combine dancing, feasting, music, and prayers help make the relationship with death one of friendship rather than fear. (1963, 15 minutes)

Allerton • Saturday, October 23, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Fort Washington • Saturday, November 13, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.

El Moulid: Egyptian Religious Festival
Moulid is a public religious festival celebrating the life and legacy of a holy person. This documentary presents the celebration of the 700-year-old moulid of the 13th-century Muslim Wali, Sayyid Ahmad Al-Badawy, held annually in Tanta, Egypt during the cotton harvest. Using a "layering" method, this visual ethnography analyzes the moulid's structure and symbolism, revealing various levels of religious experience — scriptural, mystical, ritualized, and mythical — and how they interact with secular traditional life. (1990, 40 minutes)

Mosholu • Saturday, November 13, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.

Islam, the Prophet, and the People This documentary traces the history and growth of the Islamic faith in the Middle East, and describes the basic beliefs of Muslims today. (1975, 34 minutes)

Westchester Square • Saturday, December 18, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.

Merton: A Film Biography
Hailed as a prophet and condemned as a blasphemer, Thomas Merton spent 27 years as a Trappist monk. This film provides a comprehensive view of Merton as a religious philosopher, social critic, and author of over 60 books, including his popular autobiography, The Seven Storey Mountain. Merton spoke out against the Vietnam War, racism, and other injustices. Features interviews with those who knew him, including the Dalai Lama, Father Ernesto Cardenal, Robert Giroux, and Joan Baez. (1984, 57minutes)

Hudson Park • Thursday, October 28, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.

Mother Theresa of Calcutta
Malcolm Muggeridge, an English writer, media personality, and satirist, interviews Mother Teresa as she reveals her vocation for missionary life and the founding of the Missionaries of Charity in India. This film follows Mother Teresa and the members of her religious community as they provide help and spiritual comfort to the dying, to abandoned children, and to the outcast lepers in the slums of Calcutta. (1971, 51 minutes)

Morris Park • Saturday, December 11, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.

Powerhouse for God
This film provides a portrait of a Baptist preacher, his family, and their church in Virginia’s northern Blue Ridge Mountains. (1989, 58 minutes)

Tottenville • Saturday, November 6, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.

Secrets of the Dead Sea Scrolls
In the fall of 1946, a Bedouin shepherd stumbled upon caves in the Judean desert that turned out to be the arid repositories of the oldest known Biblical texts. This documentary explores the history of the Dead Sea Scrolls, from the time of their creation to today. While scholars continue to debate the authorship of the scrolls and the circumstances of their compilation, their importance is unquestionable because of “what they reveal about the emergence of Christianity and of rabbinic Judaism.” (1991, 60 minutes)

West New Brighton • Saturday, October 23, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.
Van Nest • Saturday, December 4, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Allerton • Saturday, March 12, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

The Silent Witness
Since 1578, Italy's Turin Cathedral has been the home of an ancient burial cloth bearing an image many believe to be that of Jesus Christ. The authenticity of this cloth has generated controversy within the Church as well as the secular world. This film records the investigations conducted by theologians, art historians, medical examiners, Interpol chemists, and NASA image technicians to trace the probable history of the cloth and reconstruct the events of Christ's Passion. (1979, 55 minutes)

New Dorp • Saturday, October 23, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.

A Veiled Revolution
Egypt was the first Arab country where women marched in political demonstrations and took off the veil. Today, however, the granddaughters of the early feminists are returning to the traditional garb, which they call Islamic dress, sometimes with full-face veil and gloves. This film explores the reasons for this new movement and its religious and political implications. (1982, 25 minutes)

Allerton • Saturday, February 5, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

Voodoo and the Church in Haiti
Despite centuries of opposition by the Catholic Church, voodoo has flourished in Haiti. This documentary dispels the sensationalist stereotypes that surround voodoo by analyzing the religion as a complex belief system that emerged in Haiti during slave revolts in 1804. Voodoo has its roots in West Africa, and combines worship of Christian deities with veneration of ancestral spirits. It is a vital force in music, art, mythology, and dance and continues to offer Haitians an outlet for political and religious expression. (1988, 40 minutes)

Columbus • Saturday, February 19, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

HANDMADE @ NYPL

Sacred Adornments
World cultures and their religions are profoundly connected through the medium of wearable art. Professional jewelry designer and teacher Chaya Adler leads a hands-on workshop in making jewelry infused with historic and spiritual meaning.

Roosevelt Island Library • Wednesday, October 6, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
Harlem • Wednesday, November 4, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Tottenville • Monday, November 15, 2010 • 6:30 p.m.
Richmondtown • Wednesday, December 1, 2010 • 3:30 p.m.
St. George Library Center • Thursday, December 2, 2010 • 4:00 p.m.
George Bruce • Tuesday, December 14, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.

From the Scriptorium: The Art of Bookmaking
The scribes and calligraphers who created the lushly lettered medieval manuscripts and books on display in Three Faiths used techniques we can still employ today. Educators from the Center for Book Arts will lead a hands-on workshop that demonstrates how to combine ancient techniques and modern technology to design, create, and illustrate your own handmade book.

Webster • Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Countee Cullen • Saturday, November 6, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
West New Brighton • Saturday, November 13, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
New Dorp • Saturday, November 20, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.
Battery Park City • Saturday, December 11, 2010 • 1:00 p.m.
Melrose • Saturday, December 11, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Baychester • Saturday, December 18, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Hunt’s Point • Saturday, January 8, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

LIVE from the NYPL

THE MOTH: OMG
Stories of the Sacred
To celebrate Three Faiths: Judaism, Christianity, Islam, LIVE from the NYPL joins forces with the critically acclaimed storytelling organization The Moth to present personal tales of hallowed spaces and blessed events. Soul searchers, agnostics, and atheists tell stories of faith, doubt, and the places in between. Featuring writer Andrew Solomon (The Noonday Demon) and others.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building • October 21, 2010 • 8:00 p.m.*

Slavoj Žižek • God Without the Sacred: The Book of Job, The First Critique of Ideology
The three religions of the Book each help us to differentiate the divine from the sacred. This liberating concept culminates in Paul's claim, from Ephesians, that "our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against leaders, against authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual wickedness in the heavens." Can religious fundamentalism be overcome only with the help of an emancipatory political theology? Philosopher Slavoj Žižek debates this and other incendiary questions on the LIVE stage.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building • November 9, 2010 • 7:00 p.m.*

Karen Armstrong • Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life
One of the most original thinkers on the role of religion in modern life, Karen Armstrong joins LIVE for a talk about making the world a more compassionate place. Armstrong believes that while all human beings are intrinsically compassionate, we each need to work to cultivate and expand our capacity for this important instinct. She demonstrates that a compassionate life is not a matter of only heart or mind but a deliberate and often life-altering commingling of the two.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building • Tuesday, January 11, 2011 • 7:00 p.m.*

Reza Aslan • Three Faiths Through a Contemporary Lens
If religion and politics have become forces of division among the three faiths, can art and literature bridge the divide? An evening of music, art, and poetry, reflecting the common bond shared among Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building • February 2011, date to be announced*

*Ticketed program
BUY TICKETS AT www.SHOWCLIX.com or 1.888.71.TICKETS
MORE INFO AT www.NYPL.org/LIVE or 212.930.0855

MUSIC

Catholicism/Salsa
Catholicism is the predominant religion of the Puerto Rican and Nuyorican community, and salsa, the indigenous Nuyorican musical form, has demonstrably Catholic lyrics, music, and instrumentation. This program of festival music, led by salsa expert and Metropolitan Museum of Art educator Jose Obando, will include the cuatro, one of the national string instruments of Puerto Rico, and its intrinsic repertoire: the seis, aguinaldo,and villancico.

Fort Washington • Tuesday, October 5, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.
Riverside • Saturday, November 13, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
St. George Library Center • Saturday, January 22, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

David Glukh Klezmer Ensemble
Klezmer is a musical tradition from the Ashkenazic Jews of Eastern Europe that was developed by Yiddish-speaking Jewish immigrants to the United States. These performances, including a special Hanukkah concert at the Bronx Library Center, include traditional klezmer music along with special "fusions” with other musical traditions of the world.

Richmondtown • Saturday, November 6, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.
Ottendorfer • Wednesday, December 1, 2010 • 3:30 p.m.
Van Nest • Saturday, December 18, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Baychester • Saturday, February 5, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

Glory of Sephardic Music with Alhambra
Alhambra is a five-member ensemble that performs vocal and instrumental Sephardic music, a combination of Judeo-Spanish and Middle Eastern traditions, on authentic regional instruments. This lunchtime performance will introduce listeners to a truly global sound.

Grand Central • Thursday, October 28, 2010 • 12:00 p.m.

Hindu Music and Dance
A performance of devotional songs with sitar and raga accompaniment. The forms of Lord Ganesha and Lord Shiva, and the stories of Lord Krishna are demonstrated through Kathak dance.

Parkchester • Saturday, October 16, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Dongan Hills • Saturday, November 13, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.
58th Street • Wednesday, January 26, 2011 • 2:00 p.m.

Lavender Light Gospel Choir
Now in its 25th year, Lavender Light, The Black and People of All Colors Lesbian and Gay Gospel Choir, is dedicated to keeping the Black Gospel music tradition alive in an environment of peace, love, tolerance, and hope. Initial funding for The New York Public Library's LGBT initiative was provided by TimeWarner.

George Bruce • Saturday, November 6, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.
Port Richmond • Saturday, December 4, 2010 • 2:00 p.m.

Music for the Holidays with the Bronx Symphony Orchestra
Members and friends of the Bronx Symphony Orchestra will perform selections from Handel’s Messiah and other holiday favorites.

Bronx Library Center • Saturday, December 18, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.

Sounds of Kora Music with Yacouba Sissoko
The kora is a 21-string harp-lute made from a calabash gourd which has been used in West African songs of praise, ritual, and oral history for centuries. Musician Yacouba Sissoko is a kora master from Mali who has played with jazz, Latin, and rhythm and blues bands as well as in traditional African ceremonies.

Eastchester • Wednesday, October 20, 2010 • 5:00 p.m.
Harlem • Thursday, December 9, 2010 • 6:00 p.m.

Sufi Music with Rumi
Sufi music is a reflection of Sufi views on the afterlife. The mystic sounds of Sufi include a kanun (string instrument found in Near Eastern traditional music), a ney (end-blown flute), and a def (frame drum). The music will be accompanied by the poetry of Rumi. Light Turkish food will be provided.

Port Richmond • Saturday, November 6, 2010 • 2:30 p.m.
Jefferson Market • Saturday, February 5, 2011 • 1:00 p.m.

WRITING WORKSHOPS @ NYPL

Sacred Journal Writing
Rituals are a part of spiritual practice, and help to enrich one’s understanding of faith. Writing can also be a ritual, and participants in this series of programs will be given exercises to help them adopt journal-keeping as a contemplative spiritual practice in a secular world. This three-session workshop is led by Kimberlee Auerbach, author of The Devil, the Lovers & Me: My Life in Tarot and a writing teacher for Mediabistro, The Open Center, and Gotham Writers’ Workshop.

Battery Park City • Three Sessions, Thursday–Saturday, October 21–23, 2010 • 1:00 p.m.
Dongan Hills • Three Sessions, Thursday–Saturday, November 4–6, 2010 • 1:00 p.m.

Participants must attend all three sessions.

The Ode to Joy: Poetry and Spiritual Expression
Participants will sample spiritual poetry, prayer, and praise from a variety of religious and literary traditions, and create and share poetic expressions of their own. This three-part workshop is led by Adam Phillips, a multifaith minister and a radio journalist for the Voice of America, where he specializes in religion, art, immigrant life, humanitarian work, and New York City.

Battery Park • Three Saturdays, October 9 & 30, November 6, 2010 • 1:00 p.m.

Participants must attend all three sessions.