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Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter

BGD 2015

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 in belief and practice than Judaism and Islam, yet today, Jewish-Muslim interactions are often the source of intense religious conflict. 

This course will explore the history, culture and theology of Muslims and Jews, reflecting both on similarities and differences as well as discussing the major challenges. Assisted by leading experts and early career scholars in Europe and the US, 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 on Tuesday 17 January 2017.


Dr Emma Harris: eth22@cam.ac.uk

Tel: (01223) 741 038

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