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Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter

BGD 2015

The e-learning course, Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter, is a unique educational opportunity brought to life by the collaborative efforts of Dr Edward Kessler and Professor Akbar Ahmed. The Woolf Institute and the School of International Service at the American University in Washington jointly run this course.

No two world religions are closer together than Judaism and Islam, yet today, ironically, no two religions are further apart. This course will explore the history, culture and theology of Muslims and Jews, reflecting both on similarities and differences as well as the major challenges. Assisted by leading scholars in Europe and the US with a wealth of experience in this field, the course will also offer strategies for building bridges between the communities.   

While there has been notable interfaith activity in Europe and the United States in recent decades, the Jewish-Muslim dialogue and understanding are far from satisfactorily developed. Too often, there is neither space, nor indeed the necessary trust, which are prerequisites to the proper understanding of the two faiths. Experience has shown that when subjects like the Israeli-Palestinian relationship or Antisemitism and Islamophobia are discussed, the dialogue too often becomes embittered or breaks down.

Because this course is committed to the highest levels of scholarly integrity, it will provide a space for the discussion of the entire range, in the broadest sense, of the Jewish-Muslim encounter which does not preclude even the most controversial issues between them.

On completion of the course, you will receive a Woolf Institute Certificate of Completion.

The course will commence in January 2017. Applications will open in September 2016.


Dr Emma Harris, Academic Coordinator: eth22@cam.ac.uk

Tel: (01223) 741 038

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