The Children of Abraham
About The Project
This quiz is a part of the art- and dialog project ”The Children of Abraham” by the artist Jens Galschiøt. It focus on the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They are often called ‘the people of the book’, as all of them acknowledge Abraham as their ancestor. In a way, the disagreements between the religions are a family dispute between ‘The Children of Abraham’.
The sculpture Fundamentalism is a central part of the project. It is built by 8000 cobber books, which forms the letters ‘F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.I.S.M’. The letters are placed on a circle shaped base. They are divided between the religions. Three letters are built of cobber Torahs, four of cobber Bibles, four of cobber Qurans. To respect religious feelings and the holy books, they are modelled in wax and casted in cobber. They have never been real Torahs, Bibles or Qurans.
In the exterior of the sculptures circle shaped base, 14 big screens show ‘bright’ quotes from the Torah, Bible and Quran. In the bases interior 14 screens show ‘dark’ quotes from the same religious books. The sculpture is 3½ meters tall and 9 meters in diameter.
Dialog, information and decomposition of prejudices
The project is to establish a dialogue, based on the argument that the three religions are both very humane and very inhumane. The Torah, Bible and Quran have ‘light’ and beautiful statements, and one could establish a very beautiful, harmonious and humane society from texts in all three books. Opposite all the books contain inhumane and totalitarian statements, and one could as well build a totalitarian state from each of the books.
As the project creates awareness and knowledge about the religions, a dialogue is established that can eliminate some of the prejudices people have about the religions. For example: If one take the public debate in Denmark into account it is surprising to learn that in Christianity (i.e. The Bible) the rights of the female gender are very limited, while Islam (i.e. The Quran) gives the women more rights and freedom. Most Danes think it is quite opposite.
It is arguable that it is not simply the religious writings that are basis for people’s actions. More so it is depending on which side of the religion people chose to follow: the ‘dark’ or side or the ‘bright’.
'The Children of Abraham’ was first exhibited with the sculpture ‘F.U.N.D.A.M.E.N.T.A.L.I.S.M’ in 2015. Since then there has been a number of exhibitions. Amongst others inside the EU Parliament in 2017.
There are plenty of opportunities to take part in the project. We encurrage schools, cultural- or religious institutions, NGOs, libraries, art museums, curious individuals etc. to take part. We have teaching material, quotes online, photos and booklets which can be used freely.