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Our History

The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme was founded 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 benefited from the support and advice of 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.

RSS Feed Latest news

'Scripture & Violence' Nominated for Research Impact Award

Oct 15, 2019

News: Dr Daniel Weiss & Dr Julia Snyder's research project challenging assumptions about religious texts and acts of violence is recognised at Vice-Chancellor's Research & Impact Engagement Awards 2019

CIP Senior Seminar, 11 October - Dr Ankur Barua

Oct 07, 2019

Event: A seminar entitled ‘Hindu Visions of Divinity: Doctrinal Vignettes for Christians – Prolegomena to a Monograph’ – Dr Ankur Barua (Lecturer in Hindu Studies, Faculty of Divinity)

BOOK NOW for CIP's Festival of Ideas Events 2019

Sep 11, 2019

Events: Two talks hosted by CIP for the Festival of Ideas 2019 on the theme of 'change'

Scriptural Reasoning at Greenbelt 2019, 26 Aug 2019

Aug 19, 2019

Event: 'Scripture & Violence - Challenging Assumptions': Scriptural Reasoning at Greenbelt Festival 2019 on 26 August at 11am

Church Times coverage of CIP event

Jul 22, 2019

'Neither inherently violent nor safe' by Michael Wakelin in Church Times, 19 July 2019