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Stephanie Mitchell

JCME student

I studied Asian history decades ago and over time have become acutely aware of how my knowledge of Europe – where I live and work! – is lacking.  Likewise, with the rise of extremism of so many varieties more and more in the news, I felt a need to 'arm' myself with insights to avoid becoming profoundly depressed about the prospects for inter-faith communication and continued evolution of European society and politics. Just when I was mulling these questions over, I found out about the Woolf Institute and the e-learning course, Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe:  Modern Challenges.

The course was eye-opening in many ways and continues to inform how I look at developments in everything from art to business, politics and economics.  It involved areas I felt more comfortable in – historical analysis and documents – and others that were much more challenging to me. The tutors demanded a certain level of involvement, but were also very understanding of the very varied backgrounds of all of us on the course. Connecting my own professional and personal experiences to the topics of the course expanded my world view and contacts with the others on the course have been very personally rewarding. The exchanges between and amongst all of us have given an added dimension to my thoughts and work that continues to be a positive influence for me even after the course has finished.

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