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Art across the early Abrahamic religions

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are considered kindred religions–holding ancestral heritages and monotheistic belief in common–but there are definitive distinctions between these ‘Abrahamic’ peoples. The early exchanges of Jews, Christians, and Muslims were dominated by debates over the meanings of certain stories sacred to all three groups. In addition to the verbal tales, art played a significant role in the interpretations, often competitive, of the sacred stories they had in common. In mosaics, in stone carvings, and in paintings, we consistently encounter what artists of the three communities wished to emphasize as especially important.

All images reprinted in Shared Stories, Rival Tellings: Early Encounters of Jews, Christians, and Muslims by Robert Gregg.

Featured image credit: “Sarcophagus depicting Selene and Endymion.” Detail. Ca. 210 CE. Image used courtesy of the Getty Museum, Los Angeles, California. Getty Museum 76.AA8.

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