Interfaith exhibition open at city diocese

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The cover of an ancient Hindu book made of leather

An interfaith exhibition of old books and artifacts is open at Ho Chi Minh City Diocese's Traditional Center in the city until November 27, reported Tuoi Tre newspaper this week.

Called "Man and religion", the exhibition is being organized jointly by the diocese's Department of Culture and the Pastoral Department of Interfaith Dialogue to promote religious harmony as well as the history of different religions.

It showcases collections of artifacts relating to Christianity, Buddhism, Taoism and Hinduism, as well as books dating back several centuries ago.

There are sutras and statues of the Buddha and Brahma collected by pastor Nguyen Huu Triet; artworks by sculptor cum cloisterer Tran Quang Vinh; cardinal Pham Minh Man's collection of Mary statues from Mongolia, Russia, Brazil, Poland and African countries.

Other highlights include five Hindu books made of leather; a book on Abbey life printed in 1586; the first Bible in Vietnamese printed in Hong Kong in 1913 and translated from Vulgata version by the high priest Chinh Linh from the north; "Missionary Journey" by Alexandre de Rhodes published in 1653; and the 1960 reprinted edition of "Catechismus" also of the French Jesuit missionary and lexicographer. "Catechismus" was the first published in Latin and in Vietnamese in Rome in 1658.

Alexandre de Rhodes (1591 1660) had a lasting impact on Christianity in Vietnam. He compiled the Dictionarium Annamiticum Lusitanum et Latinum, the first trilingual Vietnamese-Portuguese-Latin dictionary published in Rome in 1651.

The exhibition also has the Lotus Sutra and other sutras written on palm leaves, Taoism's is boon on witch, the Five Classics of Confucianism printed during the reign of Emperor Minh Mang (1791 1841), and the Book of Changes printed in China in 1681.

The exhibition is open at 6 Ton Duc Thang Street, District 1, from 8:30am to 4pm from Tuesday to Sunday.

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