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Many faces of faith

In August, Kirsten Conover reported in The Christian Science Monitor on an exhibition "Art & Religion: The Many Faces of Faith," which was held at the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies in Philadelphia and at Villanova University Art Gallery in Villanova, Pennsylvania. Its purpose was to help combat intolerance among races and religions, and to build a sense of community.

"The works are religious," commented Homer Jackson, an interdisciplinary artist and a juror for the exhibition, "but they have a ring that is more akin to the part after church when you shake hands. These artists are telling stories, and you can see pieces of yourself in their work regardless of your religious beliefs."

Mr. Jackson said he hoped the show had impelled visitors to think deeply about what they hold in their thought daily—and differentiate thoughts that are valuable from those that are not. Be sensitive not only to racism, he suggested, but also to sexism, ageism, and judgment based on creed, religion, economic status, where a person lives, and so on. "I think the potential for healing is there," he said. "It's amazing how many people haven't rationalized the common humanity in people. ..." The arts can't solve problems, he added, but they can raise questions and challenge thought. If one person left the exhibit moved, it was successful.

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October 20, 1997

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