Published: | By: Janine Kalisch
When the week begins on a Sunday and the new year starts in autumn, time is observed according to the Jewish calendar. The differences to the Gregorian calendar, the most widely used calendar in the world, seem great, but a closer look reveals many similarities. Prof. Dr Dr Bertram Schmitz from the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena dedicates his new exhibition from the series “Weltreligionenkunst” ("World Religious Art") to precisely this topic: festivals and calendars of the world religions. Together with students, the religious scholar is exhibiting numerous exhibits in the Jena City Church "St. Michael" under the title: "Abraham's Calendar". The works of art will be on display for the whole month from 2 April after the evening service.
"The exhibition is intended to show the connections between the religious calendars, which can be seen particularly well in the respective holidays and their distances from each other," explains Schmitz. Altogether, there are four thematic focal points within the show. In addition to the "Revelation of God" and the "Request for Reconciliation", the works also deal with the "holy year" and the "holy day in the week".
"It is important to pay attention to how the respective calendars are counted. The year in Islam is made up of the phases of the moon and is correspondingly 11 days shorter. Judaism is oriented to both the lunar and solar year and, similar to Christianity, must create a balance with leap years," says the Jena-based religious scholar. Schmitz and his young team try to illustrate this complexity of the research results in a simplified way with creative forms of presentation. Like the colourfully designed sacrifice of a lamb in the cycle of atonement or a construction that shows the annual courses of Judaism, Islam and Christianity on different levels and looks like an etagere at first glance. "My personal concern is to make religion and religions discussable on different levels. The exhibitions in the framework of 'my world religions art' offer a good opportunity for this, which is now being continued with 'Abraham's Calendar' as the fourth partial exhibition."
Guided tours available for school classes and interested parties
At the opening on 2 April after the evening service, which begins at 7 p.m., Schmitz will give a guided tour of the exhibition. For school classes or visitors with little previous knowledge, he will also offer tours of the show on request.
The exhibition "Abraham's Calendar" will be on display in the Jena City Church "St. Michael" until the end of April during the opening hours of the church. Admission is free.