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Current Projects

Assessing the Effectiveness of Interfaith Initiatives (AEIFI)


Working with Georgetown University (Qatar) and the Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue (DICID), this research project will deliver the first cross-country comparison of interfaith initiatives in Qatar, UK and India to determine how best to assess their effectiveness in improving interfaith relations.

A multi-national, multi-lingual and multi-faith team of investigators has been assembled, including a local partner in Qatar, DICID, to conduct the pioneering research. The project will integrate social research, historical and policy analysis, and religious studies to develop a framework for analysing how interfaith encounters affect change. When disseminated to audiences of experts, policymakers, and activists, the study's unique results will enhance understanding of the factors that influence the successes, and failures, of interfaith initiatives and how best to analyse effectiveness across and within different contexts.

To read the project summary in full, please click here


Intelligent Trust

Todd Huffman on FlickrDr Shana Cohen and Dr Edward Kessler are leading a multi-country research project entitled Intelligent Trust. The project includes a pilot phase (2013-14) in London and a comparative study in Berlin, Paris and Rome (2014-16). Dr Christina Fuhr, Dr Sami Everett and Dr Jan-Jonathan Bock joined the Woolf Institute as Junior Research Fellows to support this research.

The project seeks to identify:

  • The meaning of trust in practice, in this case, within interfaith relations in Europe under austerity and in an era of continuing recession;
  • How individuals of different faith, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds decide to trust or mistrust each other, or more specifically, the criteria they use to determine trustworthiness;
  • What the placement of trust means in terms of behaviour toward the 'other';
  • The impact that trust and mistrust in local interfaith relations have on capacity to organize effectively to address shared concerns or differences, and more broadly, notions and practices of citizenship.

To read the project summary in full, please click here


Bridging the Gap between Muslims and Hospices

Hospice careOn behalf of Hospice UK and Together for Short Lives, the Woolf Institute is leading the research project: Bridging the gap between Muslims and hospices. Through a combination of research and practice, this project seeks to provide both a theoretical and practical understanding of where the challenges and opportunities lie in building a strong and vibrant relationship between hospices and Muslims communities.

To read the project summary in full, please click here


Wittgenstein and Interfaith Disagreement

Gorazd AndrejčWittgenstein

This project explores both the potentials and the limitations of using Wittgenstein's philosophy for the purpose of understanding interreligious disagreements. It builds on Gorazd's previous work on Wittgenstein's understanding of religious language, belief and doubt, and the recent interpretations.

To read the project summary in full, please click here


Late Judaeo-Arabic Correspondence of Ottoman Traders

Esther-Miriam WagnerMarket

Whereas the social and economic life of Jews under the Fatimid and Ayyubid empires (10th to 13th c.) has been the subject of numerous books and articles, relatively little attention has been paid to the late Mamluk and Ottoman periods. This has also led to a lack of research on documentary Late Judaeo-Arabic, the most important mode of communication for the widespread network of the Jewish traders.

To read the project summary in full, please click here


Wisdom and Greatness in One Place: the 15th-c. Alexandrian Trader Moses Ben Judah and His Circle

Esther-Miriam WagnerMedieval Alexandria

Together with her colleague Dotan Arad (Bar Ilan University), a historian specialising in the Mamluk period, Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner is currently preparing an edition of mercantile letters from 15th-century Alexandria, which are part of the manuscript collections in the Bodleian.

To read the project summary in full, please click here


From Tuscany to Alexandria: Arabic letters in the Prize Paper Collections

Esther-Miriam WagnerMJR in medieval spain

Dr Wagner is working on a new project, which deals with the Arabic letters of The Prize Paper Collections in the National Archives in Kew Gardens. The collection contains an extensive and unique quantity of Arabic business letters, as well as letters sent between Christian institutions, which were seized in 1759 by British privateers as part of the loot on a Tuscan ship bound for Alexandria. Virtually untouched since that time, they present a most exciting and unprecedented opportunity to investigate the interaction between Jewish, Muslim and Christian merchants across borders in the eighteenth century Mediterranean, as well as the communication between Christian clergy in Rome with institutions around the Mediterranean from a historical and sociolinguistic perspective.

To read the project summary in full, please click here




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