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The History of CIP

The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme was born in 2002 with the aim of bringing the resources of the Faculty of Divinity, and the University of Cambridge more generally, to bear on questions about the relationship between Jews, Christians and Muslims.  

The Programme was established to pursue research and public education projects that would:

  • bring together Jewish, Christian and Muslim participants, and others;
  • be responsible to the religious communities, to society more generally, and to the academic disciplines;
  • embed long-term inter-faith learning, collaboration and collegiality into Cambridge University and other institutions; and
  • emphasise face to face discussion and joint study and research, including study of each others scriptures.

In 2005, CIP embarked on a three-year feasibilility study, supported by Coexist, which resulted in affirmation of CIP and by the General Board of the University of Cambridge in 2008. The Board fully endorsed "a long term inter-faith programme incorporating first class research and teaching activity as well as a significant element of public education and outreach".

In 2008, CIP was named a flagship project of the University’s 800th Anniversary Campaign.

From its inception until 2011, CIP was part of CARTS, the Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies.  CIP was housed in a suite of rooms in the CARTS wing of the Faculty, and all its activities were encouraged and overseen by the CARTS Management Committee.  Successive directors of CARTS played a strong role in guiding and supporting CIP's developments.

With the support of valued partners and benefactors, CIP continues to go from strength to strength.

CIP consultants

Since it's inception CIP has appreciated the support and advice of these advisors in the world of inter-faith scholarship.

Dr Aref NayedDr Aref Ali Nayed

Aref Ali Nayed is a Founder and Director of Kalam Research & Media (KRM). He is Senior Advisor to the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme and Fellow of the Royal Aal Al-bayt Institute in Jordan. he was Professor at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (Rome) and the International Institute for Islamic Thought and Civilization (Malaysia). He has headed an Information Technology company. He received his BSc in Engineering, MA in the Philosophy of Science and a PhD in Hermeneutics fromt he University of Guelph (Canada). He also studied at the University of Toronto and and the Pontifical Gregorian University. He has been involved in various inter-faith initiatives since 1987, including the recent 'A Common Word,' process and has authored several scholarly works including, co-authored with Jeff Mitscherling and Tanya Ditommaso, The Author's Intention (Lexington Books, 2004). His forthcoming books include Operational Hermeneutics and Vatican Engagements: A Muslim Theologian's Journey in Muslim-Catholic Dialogue (both by KRM). Also forthcoming is Future of Muslim Theology (to be published by Blackwell in parallel with Future of Jewish Theology by Steve Kepnes and Future of Christian Theology by David F. Ford).

Peter OchsProfessor Peter Ochs

Peter W. Ochs is the Edgar M. Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies at the University of Virginia where he also directs Religious Studies graduate programs in, "Scripture, Interpretation and Practice." He is an influential thinker whose interests include Jewish philosophy and theology, modern and postmodern philosophical theology, pragmaticsm and semiotics. Ochs coined the term, 'Scriptural Reasoning' and is the co-founder (with Anglican theologianDavid F. Ford) of the Society for Scriptural Reasoning, which promotes inter-faith dialogue among Christians, Jews and Muslims through Scriptural study groups. He is also a co-founder of the Children of Abraham Institute, which promotes interfaith study and dialogue among members of the Abrahamic religions and was co-author/editor of Dabru Emet (A Jewish Statement on Christians and Christianity) and the accompanying Christianity in Jewish Terms.

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Dr James Walters, chaplain and inter-faith advisor at the London School of Economics (LSE), discusses the challenges and opportunities posed by religious diversity on university campuses.

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