The British Library





Thai folding book (samut khoi), 19th century, manuscript (The British Library)
There are many kinds of Buddhist meditations; here Dr Sarah Shaw describes the ‘middle way’ of the Buddha and explores key aspects of Buddhist meditation and chant, such as the use of Buddha-images and visualization.

Buddhist meditation and chant



Professor Julius Lipner explains that Hinduism cannot be considered polytheistic and discusses the way in which Hindu culture and sacred texts conceptualize the deities, as well as their role in devotional faith

Hindu deities


Since Islam prohibits the representation of the human or animal form in religious contexts, Islamic art finds its ultimate spiritual expression in beautiful calligraphy and illumination of the sacred script.

Illumination of the Qur’an








Dr. Ilana Tahan explores the illumination of Jewish biblical manuscripts, looking at the religious grounds for artistic expression in the Bible, and the differences in styles between manuscripts produced in the Near East and those in Europe

Illumination of Jewish biblical texts



Dr. Kathleen Doyle introduces the characteristics and evolution of medieval biblical illumination, discussing the various functions of images in biblical texts, together with the use of different materials, calligraphic embellishments and stylistic influences.

Biblical illumination



The Great Square, Amritsar, c. 1880s, albumen photographic print (The British Library)
Eleanor Nesbitt explores Sikh gurdwaras ('doorway to the Guru'), touching on the most notable ones, such as the Golden Temple, their common features, and the principles of worship within them.

Sikh sacred places


The Guru Granth Sahib plays an integral part in the lives of Sikhs. Eleanor Nesbitt describes the rituals that surround it and its role in the daily lives and life cycle rites of Sikhs, also exploring Sikh daily prayer, devotional songs, and festivals.

Sikh prayer and worship




The Bedford Hours, c. 1410–30, ink on parchment, 26 x 18.5 cm (The British Library)
Books of Hours were a popular feature of medieval Christianity in Europe. Dr Eleanor Jackson introduces their common features, uses and purposes, explaining features such as the Instruments of Christ’s Passion and the medieval veneration of saints.

Medieval prayer-books


Thai folding book (samut khoi), 19th century, manuscript (The British Library)
There are many kinds of Buddhist meditations; here Dr Sarah Shaw describes the ‘middle way’ of the Buddha and explores key aspects of Buddhist meditation and chant, such as the use of Buddha-images and visualization.

Buddhist meditation and chant


Professor Julius Lipner explains that Hinduism cannot be considered polytheistic and discusses the way in which Hindu culture and sacred texts conceptualize the deities, as well as their role in devotional faith

Hindu deities