After graduating with a B.Sc. in Physics from the University of Delhi, Ankur went on to read Theology and Religious Studies at Cambridge’s Faculty of Divinity, where he completed his Ph.D. on the symbolism of time and embodiment in St Augustine and Ramanuja. Specialising in Hinduism and the comparative philosophy of religion, he is now a Lecturer in Hindu Studies at the Faculty. His academic interests cover a wide range of topics from the history, philosophy and concepts of the Hindu traditions to their relationships with other religious traditions and within different cultures. Ankur’s expertise significantly broadens CIP’s knowledge and understanding of world faiths, enabling it to encompass non-Abrahamic as well as Abrahamic traditions.
Mr Michael Wakelin - Executive Associate in Public Education for the Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge
Michael worked for BBC Religious Broadcasting for 23 years producing programmes on all BBC TV and Radio networks eventually becoming Head of Religion and Ethics in 2006. He is now Director of Programmes for the Coexist Foundation and oversees the collaborative activities of the Cambridge Coexist Partnership. He continues to consult on matters relating to religion and the media and is still involved in broadcasting through his work with TBI Media. Michael studied Theology at Birmingham University.
Professor Garth Fowden – Academic Director
Garth Fowden read Modern History at Merton College, Oxford, and there also wrote his doctoral thesis, under the supervision of Henry Chadwick, on Pagan philosophers in late antique society, with special reference to Iamblichus and his followers (1979). Between 1978 and 1983 he held research fellowships at Peterhouse and at Darwin College, Cambridge. From 1983 to 1985 he taught Byzantine and Modern Greek History at Groningen University in the Netherlands, whence he moved to a position at the National Research Foundation, Athens, and then to the Sultan Qaboos Chair in 2013. He has held visiting appointments at Princeton University; the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton; the Institute for the Humanities, University of Michigan; the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris; and most recently (2012-13) the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin.
Mrs Sarah Snyder – Summer School Director & Scriptural Reasoning Field Worker
Sarah was an anthropologist and documentary producer for BBC Television before retraining as a theologian specialising in Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations. She has lived and worked with nomadic people groups in the Sahara desert and East African rift valley, and in South Africa, Bangladesh, Peru and Bolivia. She has worked with the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme since then, co-ordinating the programme of Scriptural Reasoning and travelling widely to bring together groups of Jews, Christians and Muslims. She has a passion for faith-based reconciliation, and is currently directing a new initiative to establish an international centre of reconciliation at Rose Castle in the UK. She is married with four children.
Ms Miriam Lorie – Public Education Manager
Miriam manages CIP’s Public Education projects, with a particular focus on Coexist House, a planned new centre for learning about religions in London, launched by the University of Cambridge alongside four other partners. Miriam studied Theology and Religious Studies at Cambridge and it was here that she first joined a Scriptural Reasoning group, and found out about CIP’s work. Miriam has spent a year studying at an Orthodox Jewish seminary in Jerusalem, and is a graduate of the Susi Bradfield Educators Fellowship at the London School of Jewish Studies. Before joining CIP in 2009, she worked at the Woolf Institute.
Mrs Nadiya Takolia – Scriptural Reasoning Project Manager
Nadiya joined the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme in March 2014, developing this powerful tool for inter-faith dialogue and taking it to communities in the UK and across the world. Her past experience include journalism as well as research and advocacy in the not-for-profit sector. She is currently studying part time for an MA in Islamic Studies at SOAS, and in her spare time she enjoys drinking all varieties of tea and going for long walks in the British countryside.
Mrs Barbara Bennett – Administrator
Barbara is the administrator for the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme with responsibility for the day to day running of the office and also for providing administrative support to the team. This includes organising public events and supporting academic conferences, research projects and the annual CIP Summer School. In her spare time she enjoys running and is also learning Arabic. She has worked for CIP since December 2008 and has a degree in Theology from the University of Hull.
Jane joined CIP in 2015 after completing a PhD on religion, morality, and crime at the Cambridge Criminology Institute. Prior to her doctorate, she undertook a Theology and Religious Studies degree in Cambridge's Faculty of Divinity, an MPhil in Criminological Research, and worked in London for a media-based start-up. She is responsible for CIP’s fundraising and communications strategies, in addition to representing CIP at inter-faith events and supporting its public education initiatives. She enjoys writing, reading, and participating in inter-faith activities.
Giles joined the team in 2014. Formerly assisting CIP’s former Director Professor David Ford, he is now Research Associate to Academic Director Professor Garth Fowden. Giles read Theology and Religious Studies at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where he also completed an MPhil. His doctoral research, also at Peterhouse, focused on the borderlands of Christian doctrine, literature, and philosophy, looking at the theological reception of Greek tragedy, with a particular comparative interest in Martin Luther’s theology of the cross. In 2011, along with Kevin Taylor, Giles edited a collection that brought together theologians and literary scholars, Christian Theology and Tragedy: Theologians, Tragic Literature and Tragic Theory (Ashgate), to which he contributed an essay on the role of tragedy in the work of Donald MacKinnon.
Chris joined the team in 2015. His research focuses on anthropological and sociological approaches to Islam in contemporary Europe, focusing on mosques, education, economics, politics, and the public sphere. Within the work of CIP, he holds particular interests in inter-religious civil society engagement, diplomacy, and public education. Chris's academic background is in Theology and Religious Studies (BA, University of Cambridge) and Modern Middle Eastern Studies (MPhil, University of Oxford). His professional experience includes media, education, research and trade/diplomacy.