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Sacred Texts

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Cultures +2 Age Levels Intermediate (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (12 to 15 years old), Post-Secondary

This is a collection of teaching resources about sacred texts used in a variety of religions. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are all featured in many artifacts, but there are also some examples from Hinduism, Buddhism, and Daoism. Ideas for teaching and questions are located throughout the collection on the notebook tab.

Some overall guiding questions to consider using with your students might be:

-Are the texts treated as revelations? Are they inerrant? You may want to define these words with your students and ask them to research the answers.

-How do different religions treat their texts? Are there special objects or rituals used in conjunction with the texts?

-Why was it important for religious texts to be written down? How can the form of a text change who has access to the religion's teachings?

-What kinds of decorations are used in and on the texts? Why do you think that is?

Tags: Christianity, Jesus, Bible, Judaism, Torah, Old Testament, Islam, Quran, Muhammad, Hindu, Buddha, Daoism, China, India, religion, belief, philosophy, compare contrast

The Diamond Sutra

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The Heart Sutra

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Sutra case with cover

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The Ramayana (Tales of Rama; The Freer Ramayana), Volume 2

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Dance from West Java

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Laozi delivering a copy of the Daodejing

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Torah Ark

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Torah pointer

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum

Rabbi [painting] / (photographed by Walter Rosenblum)

Archives and Special Collections, Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Holy Bible: Containing the Old and New Testaments

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Soldier's Pocket Bible

National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

Four Evangelists

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Washington Manuscript III - The Four Gospels (Codex Washingtonensis)

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The Orthodox Hymnal (Sharaknotz)

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Koran case

National Museum of African Art

Koran

National Museum of African Art

Folio from a Koran

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

An'am: selection of suras from the Koran

Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Koranic writing board

National Museum of African Art