Art of Interfaith Understanding

2021 Series

In the fall and winter of 2021, we are offering six Art of Interfaith Understanding tours with the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  Each tour will be offered in its entirety on two separate dates and times so as to accommodate the diverse schedules of our participants.


All programs will be guided by Dr. John B. Hougen, a consultant with Interfaith Philadelphia and a volunteer guide at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  These programs are co-sponsored by Interfaith Philadelphia & the Philadelphia Museum of Art's Division for Community Engagement.

Due to current restrictions on group tours at the Philadelphia Museum of Art all upcoming tours will be offered virtually.


Cost: $20/ticket; $10 reduced price/student rate

(Each tour is valued at $40, but donors make it possible for us to offer participants this discounted rate.)

If you have any questions, please contact John at

Art for Change

Sunday, October 3

2:00 – 3:30 PM


Wednesday, October 6

7:00 – 8:30 PM


Diego Rivera, Sugar Cane (detail),

1931, Fresco, Philadelphia Museum of

Art Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs.

Herbert Cameron Morris, 1943

We will contemplate and discuss four art works: two from Mexico, one from Europe, and one from India.  All four artists had strong convictions and sought to reform the societies in which they lived.  Guided meditations and discussions will reveal the spiritual and religious dimensions of the paths these artworks urge us to follow.  We will explore our responses to their calls for action.

Models of Spirituality in Early American Art

Sunday, November 7

2:00 – 3:30 PM


Wednesday, November 10

7:00 – 8:30 PM


Potrait of Lenape Chief Lapowinsa by  Gustav Hesselius, circa 1735, Atwater Kent Museum  (Historical Society of Pennsylvania

The new Early American Galleries at the Philadelphia Museum of Art reveal the diversity of religious belief and practice in the “New World.”  We will explore the stories behind portraits and religious art made between 1650 and 1850 to discover six ways of being spiritual during this period of history.  Then, people from different backgrounds encountered a degree of pluralism they had not known before.  Now, we face similar challenges.  As we learn about their ways of being spiritual, we will gain insight into our own.

Celebrating Light

Sunday, December 5

2:00 – 3:30 PM


Wednesday, December 8

7:00 – 8:30 PM


Diwali: Third Day – Lackshmi Puja

We will view art related to celebrations of light in four religious traditions: Pagan (Yule), Christian (Christmas / Epiphany), Hindu (Diwali) and Jewish (Hanukkah).  We will seek greater understanding of what is unique to each tradition and what is shared among them.


This program is part of our brand new Leadership Institute of Interfaith Philadelphia, home for all things professional / personal development.

The Institute includes all of the workshops that you know and love, plus new opportunities to explore, learn, and practice!  Download a fall program calendar and keep reading to learn more about our program PATHWAYS!


Don’t know where to go from here?  Let the pathways be your guide!  Each program here utilizes skill-building, dialogue, and knowledge teaching, but you may be interested in focusing on one or more of these areas this fall.  Check out the example pathways below for ideas, and click on the underlined names to register for more upcoming programs!