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Peter Garry

Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter

Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges


Originally from Ireland, I moved to Brussels over five years ago to take up a position at the European schools. My academic background is European Studies and modern European languages. I have an MA in German Literature and I am currently working on my PhD in Jewish Studies.  

Since completing my Masters, which looked at European identity through migrant poetry, I have always been interested in the three main monotheist religions. Religion, and our often flawed or limited perception of it, is often used as a tool to exclude people from our national and European identities.  

The online courses at the Woolf Institute have allowed me to successfully juggle my work and family life with further study. I have found the courses to be highly organised and structured. The weekly readings, short lectures and online blog posts ensure that participants engage and remain engaged with the course material from the onset to the end. The weekly readings are both relevant and pertinent, supporting and directing the learning. At the same time, the recommended readings gently nudge the students towards further study. The weekly support and feedback from lecturers prevent the learner from falling behind. Questions and issues are dealt with very quickly. Unlike previous courses, I have completed online, I never felt that I was alone. From the onset, I had the feeling that I was part of a learning community. 

An effective course, in my opinion, is one where students are not only taught, but also inspired to continue learning. Studying online can often be difficult and isolating, however, the organised, structured and student friendly approach at the Woolf Institute ensures that students' questions are answered and interests piqued. I can only thoroughly recommend the courses.

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