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Obituary: Professor James 'Jim' Aitken

11th April 2023

It is with great sadness that staff and students learned of the recent death of Dr James ('Jim') Aitken. Jim was appointed Academic Director of the Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations (CJCR was the forerunner of the Woolf Institute) in 2007 after the death of Melanie Wright.

Even before then, he had been a CJCR tutor and had contributed to the teaching programme. Ed Kessler remembers discussing the idea of establishing a Centre back in 1998. Jim was always interested in the practice as well as the study of Jewish-Christian Relations, being active in the local branch of the Council of Christians and Jews.

At the CJCR, Jim was known for devoting time to help younger scholars navigate the challenges of their studies, especially overseas students, and his door was always open. He was a fine scholar in his own right and it was not a surprise that he was appointed to the Faculty of Divinity a few years later.

Jim will always be remembered fondly and his contribution in the early years of the Woolf Institute will be remembered with gratitude. May Jim's memory be for a blessing.

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