Only through the study of the past, of cause and of circumstance, we can thoroughly understand present issues, attitudes and actions. Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner (Executive Director)



The Woolf Institute Summer School aims to offer a programme of study for students that will draw on the research and teaching expertise of academics and doctoral scholars at the Woolf Institute, as well as academics within Cambridge. Given the remit of our work at the Woolf Institute, the curriculum will include an interdisciplinary approach to the study of interreligious and interfaith relations.

The Summer School aims to increase tolerance and interdependence through the design of a curriculum and a learning environment conducive to academic study and fostering understanding of the diversity of beliefs, attitudes and perspectives.

Participants will sit alongside Master's students from the Cambridge Theological Federation who are working towards one of four MA degrees recently accredited by Anglia Ruskin University. Participants have the opportunity to undertake one programme on the Summer School as an accredited MA module or choose to take one or more for personal or professional development and receive a Woolf Institute Certificate of Completion.

In 2020, the Woolf Institute will offer the following programme:

22 June - 3 July 2020: Led by Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner, Religion and Society from the Medieval to the Modern examines the interactions between religion and society and between the different religious communities in Europe and the Middle East from the medieval era to modern times.

This module introduces students to the study of religion in society and to different aspects of the history of interfaith relations in Europe and in the Middle East, and aims to equip them with the required analytical tools, bibliographical background and the necessary objectivity for the study of interfaith relations. This will include introductions to anthropology of religion, decolonisation, the shared history of religious law, insights into medieval and early-modern everyday life in the Middle East through the sources of the Cairo Genizah ('history from below'), and the role of religion in society following the French revolution and the Enlightenment.

The course will also explore communal identity and segregation policies, political practices of forced conversions, power dynamics between minorities and majorities, and the socio-political function of historical narratives and tropes. The module will also offer students a chance to learn about contemporary issues by exploring Antisemitism and Islamophobia, the UK Government's policies around migration, equality and security and the challenges of measuring the effectiveness of interfaith practice.


For further information, contact Dr Emma Harris,

Fees and Accommodation

Summer School - accreditation

  • Summer School with accommodation (B&B) - £1,950
  • Summer School with accommodation (home-stay) - £1,750
  • Summer School without accommodation - £1,300

Summer School - not-for-credit

  • Summer School with accommodation (B&B) - £1,450
  • Summer School with accommodation (home-stay) - £1,250
  • Summer School without accommodation - £800

2020: For the programme commencing on Monday 22 June 2020, you will be expected to arrive on Sunday 21 June 2020.

Please note the following:

  • Accommodation is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Included in the above fees is a Non-Refundable Deposit Fee of £300.
Application Details & Other Documentation

The Application Form for the Summer School programme 2020 can be downloaded here.

Deadline for applications is 3 May 2020.

If applying for accreditation, please read the relevant admissions, refund and data protection documentation at:

If applying for the programme as 'not-for-credit', please read the following:

Refund Policy

Terms and Conditions

Contact Details

For all queries, contact Dr Emma Harris at