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BOOK NOW for CIP's Festival of Ideas Events 2019

last modified Sep 16, 2019 02:24 PM
Events: Two talks hosted by CIP for the Festival of Ideas 2019 on the theme of 'change'
BOOK NOW for CIP's Festival of Ideas Events 2019

Manual Capellari

CHANGING HEARTS & MINDS - 16 OCTOBER 2019, 7.30-9PM

A talk about the range of ways in which conversion has been experienced & narrated in different religious cultures. 

What does it mean to turn oneself - or be turned to - God? How, historically, have individuals imagined, experienced and narrated their own conversion and that of others? Do they conceive of religious conversion as a single moment or a lengthy – even lifelong – process? How have religious communities ratified or sealed conversions? 

These questions will form the focus for discussion between Sophie Lunn-RockliffeGiles Waller and Daniel Weiss from the Faculty of Divinity, considering the range of ways in which conversion has been narrated in early Christianity, rabbinic Judaism, and the Protestant Reformation.

Places are limited and registration is essential - book your free ticket here


THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT? - 22 OCTOBER 2019, 7.30-9PM 
A talk about how thinkers from antiquity to today have examined the notion of 'the end of the world'.

 

From the flood in the Hebrew Bible to our current climate crisis, the end of the world has repeatedly been nigh.

Hjördis Becker-Lindenthal, Simone Kotva and Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe from the Faculty of Divinity will discuss how different thinkers from antiquity to today have conceptualised the notion of 'the end of the world' in theological terms - from the idea that planetary death is a punishment sent from God for human sins or a self-wrought disaster brought on by heedless consumption. Is the way the current climate debate is being framed anything new? How do we know that the order of change in the natural world is now critical?

Places are limited and registration is essential - book your free ticket here

 

 

Scriptural Reasoning at Greenbelt 2019, 26 Aug 2019

last modified Aug 21, 2019 09:06 AM
Event: 'Scripture & Violence - Challenging Assumptions': Scriptural Reasoning at Greenbelt Festival 2019 on 26 August at 11am
Scriptural Reasoning at Greenbelt 2019, 26 Aug 2019

Scriptural Reasoning

If you are going to Greenbelt Festival this coming Bank Holiday weekend, join us for a 90 minute scriptural reasoning session to explore passages in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim sacred texts that seem to incite violence. 

Greenbelt 2019 is one of the world's largest Christian arts and activism festivals, and we are partnering with Rose Castle Foundation and Coexist House to run this event, with support from the University of Cambridge's Arts & Humanities Impact Fund.

More information is available here.

 

 

Church Times coverage of CIP event

last modified Jul 22, 2019 01:19 PM
'Neither inherently violent nor safe' by Michael Wakelin in Church Times, 19 July 2019

Having attended a public event organised by Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme at the London School of Economic’s Faith Centre, Michael Wakelin, former Head of Religion & Ethics at the BBC asked to what extent do scriptural texts inspire terrorist acts in an article in Church Times (dated 19 July 2019). 

As a follow-up to this event, Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme will also be co-hosting (with Rose Castle Foundation) a scriptural reasoning event on the same theme at Greenbelt Festival on 26 August 2019.

Mosaic Law Among the Moderns Workshop, 22 July 2019

last modified Aug 21, 2019 09:02 AM
Event: Workshop 'Mosaic Law Among the Moderns: Constructions of Biblical Law in 19th Century Germany', 22-24 July 2019, St John's College, University of Cambridge
Mosaic Law Among the Moderns Workshop, 22 July 2019

'Marx the Modern Moses' by D. Bernstein c.1905

Through the figure of Moses, this event uncovered the place of biblical law in modern Germany. International and interdisciplinary scholars examined how ancient religious law impacted on discourse about modern legal structures during the consolidation of German states in the 19th century, tracing the transformations of Mosaic law in cultural, intellectual and religious history.

A keynote lecture by Prof Suzanne Marchand framed discussions which took place over three days (22-24 July 2019) in St John’s College between a group of 20 scholars, who looked at questions such as:

  • Did Moses plagiarize from Hammurabi?
  • Does biblical law have any place in a secular state?
  • Are modern Jews bound by ancient law?
  • How radical are the politics of Moses?

Speakers and discussants enjoyed thought-provoking papers and lively conversation, enriched by the group's diversity in career stage – covering professors, postdocs, and PhD students – and in discipline, which ranged from history and classics to religious, German, and Jewish studies. Attendees came from Germany and France, Italy and Israel, the UK and US, the Netherlands and Belgium.

Participants are now planning to publish their research, with some expansion into other fields to help round out the volume. 

Convened by Dr Paul Michael Kurtz, formerly Marie Curie Fellow at the Faculty of Divinity and Post Doctoral Research Associate at Queens' College, with funding from the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme Conference Competition and DAAD-Cambridge Research Hub, and the European Union's Horizon 2020 programme.

Dr Kurtz is now a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation–Flanders, based at Ghent University.

---------

Programme

Day One, 22 July

17.00 -18.00 Session 1: Introduction - Paul Kurtz (Cambridge) & Keynote

Suzanne Marchand (Baton Rouge), 'Greek Freedom and Mosaic Law in 19th-Century Germany'

Day Two, 23 July

9.30–11.00 Session 2: Bible

Ofri Ilany (Jerusalem), 'The Israelites' Nationalgeist: Ethnography and Politics in Johann David Michaelis's Interpretation of Mosaic Law'
Felix Weidemann (Berlin), 'Moses or Hammurabi? The question to the origin of law in German ancient Near Eastern studies at the turn of the 20th century'
Chair: Dan Pioske (Savannah)

11.30–13.00 Session 3: Judaism

Irene Zwiep (Amsterdam), 'Post-constitutionalism? Conceptualizations of law in the nineteenth-century Wissenschaft des Judentums'
Judith Frishman (Leiden), TBC
Chair: TBC


14.30–16.00 Session 4: Comparisons

Cristiana Facchini (Bologna), 'Monitoring German Scholarship on the Bible: Jesuit & Catholic counter-narratives (1850s-1900s)'
Annelies Lannoy (Ghent), 'The Law and the Republic. Maurice Vernes and Aristide Astruc on the history of Mosaic Law and its instruction in the ecole laique'
Chair: TBC

Day Three, 24 July

11.00–12.30 Session 5: Politics

Nico Camilleri (Padua), 'Which law for the colonial empire? Rule of law and (Christian) religion in German colonialism'
Carolin Kosuch (Göttingen), 'Moses and the Left: Traces of the Torah in Modern Jewish Political Thought'
Chair: Emiliano Urciuoli (Erfurt)

12.30–13.00 Session 6: Concluding Remarks

Paul Kurtz (Cambridge)

 

Scripture & The Enemy: Scriptural Reasoning in the University Conference 2019

last modified Jun 17, 2019 09:38 AM
Event: Scripture & The Enemy: Scriptural Reasoning in the University Conference 2019, 1-3 July 2019, Faculty of Divinity
Scripture & The Enemy: Scriptural Reasoning in the University Conference 2019

Artist Unknown 'Christian & Muslim Playing Chess'

This three-day international conference will explore how emnity and/or enemies are treated in the textual traditions of Judaism, Islam and Christianity.

Academics and researchers will present papers that examine the ways in which engaging with pre-modern texts and traditions can illuminate and challenge contemporary assumptions about emnity/enemies.

Guiding questions include:

  • Do these texts and traditions call for wholesale elimination of enmity, or is an ongoing functional role attributed to it?
  • Do these texts and traditions depict or call for cultivation of ‘good enemies’ without demonisation, polarisation or essentialising?
  • Are the most salient enemies always recognisably ‘other’ (that is, affiliated with a ‘different’ cultural group or religious tradition)?
  • What do these texts and traditions say about ‘enemies’ that are not persons? 

The programme (subject to change):

Monday, 1 July 2019

2.00–3.00: Arrival, Tea/Coffee

3.00–3.30: Welcome and Introductions

(Julia Snyder and Daniel Weiss)

3.30–4.30: Text Study 1 (small groups)

4.30–5.30: Discussion Session 1

Daniel Weiss (UK), Thou shalt have no enemies before me: Hatred, Vengeance, Third Party Evaluation, and the Suspension of Judgment in the Hebrew Bible

Hannah Hashkes (Israel), A Friendly Look at the Notion of EIVA (Animosity) in Rabbinic Law

Tuesday, 2 July 2019

9.00–10.30: Text Study 2 (small groups)

10.30–11.00: Tea/Coffee

11.00–12.30: Discussion Session 2

Faiza Masood (UK), The Role of Satan in Human Relations: A Quranic Examination

Kumar Aniket (UK), Role of External and Internal Enmity in Group Formation

Laurie Zoloth (USA), Bad Guy: Sin and Doubt in Climactic Change

12.30–2.00: Lunch (provided)

2.00–3.30: Text Study 3 (small groups)

3.30–4.00: Tea/Coffee

4.00–5.30: Discussion Session 3

David Barr (Canada), Figuring the Enemy: Christian Interpretations of the Muslim Threat in the Sixteenth Century

Nauman Faizi (Pakistan), Friendship at any cost? Sir Syed contra Mehdi Ali

Julia Snyder (Germany), Scripture and Violence

Wednesday, 3 July 2019

9.00–10.30: Text Study 4 (small groups)

10.30–11.00: Tea/Coffee

11.00–12.30: Discussion Session 4

Jim Fodor (USA), ‘Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’: What Kind of Moral Psychology?

Jason Fout (USA), Being Loved as an Enemy

Miriam Feldmann Kaye (Israel), ‘Scriptural Reasoning’ in Jerusalem: Theological Discord and Discourses of Diagnosis in Hospitals

12.30–2.00: Lunch (provided)

2.00–3.30: Discussion Session 5

Mark James (USA), Blessed are the Scriptural Peacemakers: Origen, Wisdom, and the Harmonization of Scripture

Peter Kang (USA), Memory, Enmity and Clement of Alexandria’s ‘Unmindfulness of Injury’ 

Hanoch Ben-Pazi (Israel), ‘From Foe to Friend’ (S.Y. Agnon): Models of Brotherliness in the Hebrew Bible. Love and Hatred, Foe and Friend

 

Scripture & Violence: Common Assumptions, Impact & Response - 27 June

last modified Jun 13, 2019 04:43 PM
Event: Scripture and Violence: Common Assumptions, Impact and Response - Scriptural Reasoning & Panel Discussion at LSE Faith Centre on 27 June 2019, 7.30 -9.15pm
Scripture & Violence: Common Assumptions, Impact & Response - 27 June

Sacred Desert window by Christopher Le Brun at LSE Faith Centre

Scripture and Violence: Common Assumptions, Impact and Response

Scriptural Reasoning & Panel Discussion

This event, organised by the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme at the University of Cambridge's Faculty of Divinity, in partnership with Coexist House, will use scriptural reasoning to examine:

  • The role scriptures play in motivating or justifying violence. 
  • How do the texts of the Hebrew Bible and New Testament relate to violence committed by Jews and Christians?
  • Is there anything in the Qur'an that makes Muslims likely to perform acts of violence?
  • How should one respond when someone expresses concerns about these texts?

It will include presentations of research from the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme's project on 'Scripture and Violence' and participatory discussion of scriptural texts (scriptural reasoning).

Panelists will include Dr Julia Snyder (Regensburg), Dr Nauman Faizi (Lahore),  Dr Daniel Weiss (Cambridge), and Prof David Ford (Cambridge).

Discussion will draw on a recent case where an asylum seeker asserted that he had converted to Christianity after discovering that it was a 'peaceful' religion, and was rejected for asylum by the Home Office on the grounds that the Bible contains violence. This case illustrates the practical impact that common assumptions about scripture and violence have in contemporary society. More information about this case can be found on the following links:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/home-office-christian-convert-asylum-refused-bible-not-peaceful-a8832026.html 

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/21/world/europe/britain-asylum-seeker-christianity.html) 

Places are limited, so please book now to avoid disappointment via

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/scripture-and-violence-common-assumptions-impact-and-response-tickets-62973022004

Sandwiches and light refreshments will be provided.

 

CIP Seminar, 31 May, Prof John Barclay

last modified May 22, 2019 01:13 PM
Event: The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations, Prof John Barclay (University of Durham). 'The Support of the Poor in early Judaism and early Christianity: A Comparison'. Friday, 31 May 2019, Lightfoot Room, 2-4pm
CIP Seminar, 31 May, Prof John Barclay

Seminar poster

Professor John Barclay (University of Durham and CIP Visiting Fellow) will give a talk on 'The Support of the Poor in early Judaism and early Christianity: A Comparison'. Professor William Horbury will be the respondent.

Early Christianity inherited much from its Jewish matrix in concern for the poor, in ethos and theological rationale - but their social networks were different, and differently constituted. Prof Barclay's talk will enquire if this caused differences in the organisation, reach and rationale for their respective support systems for and among the poor. One emergent theme will be the significance of 'weak links'; another, the Christological reconfiguration of Jewish theology. 

Students and colleagues from all disciplines are warmly invited to attend - if you need further information, do contact Dr Giles Waller.  Lunch will be served beforehand.

CIP Seminar, 23 May, Prof Robert B Gibbs

last modified May 15, 2019 10:22 AM
Event: The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations, Professor Robert B. Gibbs (University of Toronto), 'Commentary at the crossroads of the disciplines', Thursday 23 May 2019, Lightfoot Room, 12:00-13:30
CIP Seminar, 23 May, Prof Robert B Gibbs

Glossa Ordinaria - image courtesy University of Toronto

Professor Robert B. Gibbs (University of Toronto & CIP Visiting Fellow) will give a talk on 'Commentary at the crossroads of the disciplines'. The respondent is Prof John Barclay (University of Durham & CIP Visiting Fellow).  

Students and colleagues are welcome to attend - if you need further information, do contact Dr Giles Waller.  Lunch will follow the seminar.

 

CIP Seminar 4 October, Professor Paul Shore

last modified Sep 25, 2018 01:46 PM
Event: The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations, Professor Paul Shore (University of Regina and Visiting Fellow, Cambridge Inter-faith Programme), ‘The Jesuit Translation of the Qur'an in the Seventeenth Century’, Thursday 4 Oct 12:00-13:30

The Faculty of Divinity Introduces the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme's third term-length Senior Seminar Series in Inter-Religious Relations. The first session will be given by Professor Paul Shore, University of Regina and Visiting Fellow, Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme. The paper is titled 'The Spirit of the letter: The Politics of a 1622 Qur'an Translation in the Christian West', and a response will be given by Dr Justin Meggit. It will take place on Thursday 4 October, 12:00 – 13:30  in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity. 

The session will be followed by informal refreshments in the Selwyn Room (Divinity).

All welcome. Please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend.

Overview

My paper will have four parts.  First, I'll say a little bit on the early history of Latin translations of the Qur'an in the Christian West.  Then I'll explain the background pf the translation that will be the focus of my work at Cambridge: that of Ignazio Lomellini, a Genoan Jesuit who died in 1645.  I'll talk next about the tension between the desire to produce an accurate translation of the Arabic and the requirement Lomellini faced, given when and where he worked, to prove that Islam and its sacred text are "false," heretical," etc. To conclude I'll say a few words about the two Suras from the Qur'an I have chosen to concentrate on Srua 18 and 53, and what I hope to accomplish during my Fellowship in Cambridge

 

Borders of Violence and Visions of Peace: the Religious Landscapes of South Asia

last modified Jun 04, 2018 10:19 AM
Presented by Coexist House and the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, the second of thee panels on themes of South Asian Interfaith Relations at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

“Borders of Violence and Visions of Peace: The Religious Landscapes of South Asia”

St Ethelburga's Centre of Reconciliation and Peace, London

Thursday 7 June, 6.30pm

Join us for the second in a series of conversations exploring interfaith understandings and relations inspired by South Asia, hosted by Coexist House and the Cambridge Inter-faith Proframme. In this panel talk, speakers will reflect on the complex tapestries of religious belief and practice across various South Asian landscapes which have generated distinctive of peace and conflagrations of interreligious violence. This will be followed by a Q&A.

Chair: Timothy Winter (University of Cambridge)

Speakers:

Humeira Iqtidar (King's College London)
Reid Locklin (University of Toronto)
Kusum Gopal (UN Technical Expert)

If you have any questions or want to know any more about the event, please contact us at team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk

Entry is free and light refreshments will be served.

Please register for the event here:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/borders-of-violence-and-visions-of-peace-the-religious-landscapes-of-south-asia-tickets-46364657940

CIP Seminar 24 May, Dr Susannah Ticciati and Dr Daniel H. Weiss

last modified May 21, 2018 11:38 AM
The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations, Dr Susannah Ticciati (King’s College London) and Daniel H. Weiss (University of Cambridge) ‘Negotiating Conflicting Religious Truth Claims: Rabbinic and Christian Accounts in Dialogue’, Thursday 24 May 14:00-16:00, Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity

The Faculty of Divinity Introduces the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme's second term-length Senior Seminar Series in Inter-Religious Relations. The fourth session of Easter term will be given by:

Dr Susannah Ticciati (Reader in Christian Theology, King’s College London)

Dr Daniel H. Weiss (Polonsky-Coexist Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies, Faculty of Divinity)

Negotiating Conflicting Religious Truth Claims : Rabbinic and Christian Accounts in Dialogue

Thursday 24 May 14:00-16:00

Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity

All welcome. Please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend so that we can track attendance

Abstract

This session will use philosophical and textual approaches to explore the question of asserting religious claims, whether to others or to oneself, in the context of the traditions of Christianity and of rabbinic Judaism.  Is there a basis for making 'universal' claims that apply not only to one's own community but also to those currently outside that community? Are there distinctive dynamics within both Christian and rabbinic traditions that expect core religious claims to be viewed as implausible by outsiders?  The session will be structured as a dialogue between the two presenters, and will engage the potential epistemological implications of texts such as the discussion of 'foolishness' and 'stumbling block' in 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, the suffering servant passages from Isaiah, and classical rabbinic presentations of conversion and the 'invisible' status of Israel's election.

 

Susannah Ticciati

Susannah Ticciati is Reader in Christian Theology at King’s College London. She read maths and theology for her BA at Peterhouse, Cambridge, where she went on to do her PhD in theology, after which she held a research fellowship at Selwyn College, Cambridge. Her research is in constructive Christian doctrinal theology, with foci in apophatic theology and scriptural hermeneutics. She is the author of Job and the Disruption of Identity: Reading Beyond Barth, and of A New Apophaticism: Augustine and the Redemption of Signs.

 

Daniel Weiss

Daniel H. Weiss is Polonsky-Coexist Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies in the Faculty of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. He is the author of Paradox and the Prophets: Hermann Cohen and the Indirect Communication (OUP, 2012) and co-editor of Purity and Danger Now: New Perspectives (Routledge, 2016).   He is actively involved in the Cambridge Interfaith Programme and in Scriptural Reasoning.

The Promise of Intimacy: Searching for the Divine in Modern Times, Thursday 31 May, St Ethelburga's London

last modified May 17, 2018 03:07 PM
Presented by Coexist House and the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, the first of thee panels on themes of South Asian Interfaith Relations at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace: 'The Promise of Intimacy: Searching for the Divine in Modern Times'

Register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-promise-of-intimacy-searching-for-the-divine-in-modern-times-tickets-46110890916?utm_campaign=new_event_email&utm_medium=email&utm_source=eb_email&utm_term=viewmyevent_button 

“The Promise of Intimacy: Searching for the Divine in Modern Times”

St Ethelburga's Centre of Reconciliation and Peace, London

6pm Thursday 31 May

Chair: Fatimah Ashrif (Coexist House)

Speakers: 

Farhana Mayer (University of Oxford)
Luigi Gioia (V
on Hügel Institute)
Christopher V. Jones (University of Oxford)

Many faith traditions have, in their different ways, offered pathways for those desiring a deeper intimacy with the Divine. We often hear of words such as 'spiritual', 'heart', and 'soul' , as a way of describing these dimensions.

A central theme shared across various Hindu, Islamic spiritual, and Roman Catholic mystical traditions is that the divine reality is not simply another entity far out there, dwelling perhaps on the top of the Himalayas or on the peripheries of the Milky Way, but is situated in the deepest interiorities of the human heart. Therefore, the ‘union’ with the divine involves processes of the cultivation of interiority through which the religious practitioner understands that the divine beloved is simultaneously extremely distant and intimately present.

In South Asia, such teachings lead some to believe in an underlying unity behind different faiths. We see this sometimes expressed at the level of popular spiritual piety. For example, the way in which the shrines of particular holy figures - such as Ajmer Sharif in India - become a meeting point of the faithful from many different traditions. Meanwhile, many have noted the popularity of 13th century Muslim mystic Rumi in the modern western world, amongst those of different faiths (and none), such as through incorporating his poetry and practices into their daily worship/spiritual practice.

Such practices are not often fully understood and might be perceived at best as syncretic or at worst unorthodox or even heretical by some more traditional voices.

The panel will seek to explore spiritual understandings as these might be expressed by different faiths and how these might be/ are practised. With a view to offering the audience a personal encounter with the very real and lived beliefs and practices of others, panelists will be asked to speak about the celebration of “Divine intimacy” within their traditions, their personal search, where it has taken them and what they have learned about themselves and the nature of Divinity, the spiritual tools they have used in seeking the divine and how this impacts their personal engagement with the world.

Coexist House and Cambridge Inter-faith Programme South Asia Colloquium Series

last modified May 23, 2018 04:23 PM
Coexist House and the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme presents a series of seminars exploring interfaith understandings and relations within South Asian communities at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconciliation and Peace

The three panel discussions will be as follows: 

The first of these will take place on Thursday 31 May, starting at 6.30pm at St Ethelburga's Centre for Reconcilation and Peace in London. More details to follow, please contact us at team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk

https://www.interfaith.cam.ac.uk/

http://www.coexisthouse.org.uk/ 

https://stethelburgas.org/

CIP Seminar 10 May, Dr Sami Everett

last modified May 02, 2018 03:10 PM
Event: The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations, Dr Sami Everett (CRASSH, University of Cambridge), ‘From Textiles to Telecoms: Retro Reinterpretations of North Africa in Postcolonial Parisian Jewish-Muslim Interaction’, Thursday 10 May 12:00-14:00

The Faculty of Divinity Introduces the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme's second term-length Senior Seminar Series in Inter-Religious Relations. The third session of the term will be given by Dr Sami Everett (Research Associate, CRASSH, University of Cambridge), and will be called:

From Textiles to Telecoms: Retro Reinterpretations of North Africa in Postcolonial Parisian Jewish-Muslim Interaction

A response to the paper will be given by Dr Ben Gidley (Birkbeck, University of London).

All welcome. There will be an informal lunch after the event: please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend so that we have an idea of the numbers attending

Abstract

This talk investigates the enigma of Jewish North African sensibility and its intergenerational changes and continuities in Paris since 1981 through the notion of retro. After giving an historical overview of the Maghrebi presence in France and building the theoretical scaffolding on which retro sits in relation to ways of identifying with the Maghreb this talk proceeds by way of an ethnography of commercial exchange in the domain of textiles and globalised telecommunications as privileged locations for witnessing working and social relations with and across religious difference between Maghrebi Jews and Muslims and their descendants. I argue that an obfuscated Maghrebi centre exists to these relations across complex, little-known sites that lie at the meeting point of common cultural memories, mutual economic dependency, changing gender and class relations, and geopolitical conflict. More specifically, relationships between Jews and Muslims in the textiles and dress shops of la Goutte d’Or that we will discover are often defined by the desire to recover a variously expressed 'lost world' of the Maghreb. Retro, as a hermeneutic device to read Maghrebi Jewish imaginaries in Paris across generations, allows us to look at how contemporary re-conceptualisations of the past are utilised to negotiate an ethnically plural and potentially — through clearly not always — convivial present.

 

Other Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme seminars this term:

Dr Susannah Ticciati (King's College London), 'Negotiating Conflicting Religious Truth Claim: Rabbinic and Christian Accounts in Dialogue'

Thursday 24 May, Seminar Room 7, Faculty of Divinity, 14:00-16:00

CIP Seminar 3 May, Dr Reid B. Locklin

last modified Apr 24, 2018 12:15 PM
The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations presents Dr Reid B. Locklin (St Michael’s College, University of Toronto), ‘Conquering the Quarters, Preaching in Silence: an Interreligious Exploration of Missionary Advaita Vedānta’, Thursday 3 May 11am-1pm

The Faculty of Divinity Introduces the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme's second term-length Senior Seminar Series in Inter-Religious Relations. The second session of Easter Term will be given by Dr Reid B. Locklin, Associate Professor of Christianity and the Intellectual Tradition, St Michael’s College, University of Toronto. The paper is titled 'Conquering the Quarters, Preaching in Silence: an Interreligious Exploration of Missionary Advaita Vedānta', and a response will be given Dr Ankur Barua, Academic Director of CIP and Lecture in Hindu Studies at the Faculty of Divionity.. It will take place on Thursday 3 May, 11.00 am – 1.00 p.m. in Seminar Room 7, Faculty of Divinity. 

All welcome. There will be an informal lunch after the event: please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend so that we have an idea of the numbers attending

Abstract

For some four centuries, Hindus and Christians engaged a public dispute about the real or imagined threat posed by aggressive Christian missionaries, intent on converting Hindus to a foreign tradition. In my presentation, I propose to reframe this controversy by shifting attention from the South Asian context and the history of this particular debate to a comparative study of “mission” itself, as a category of thought and practice. The presentation will focus particularly on the theologies of several Hindu missionaries in the modern era, who gave new expression to the non-dualist tradition of Advaita Vedānta and reinvented it as a global religious movement. Through an interreligious study of such movements, I suggest, mission and conversion are opened to re-signification, with consequences for both Hinduism and Christianity.

 

Other CIP seminars this term:

Dr Sami Everett (CRASSH, University of Cambridge), 'Maghrebinicité: North African Jewish experience in peri-urban Paris since 1981'

Thursday 10 May, Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity, 12:00-14:00

Dr Susannah Ticciati (King's College London), 'Negotiating Conflicting Religious Truth Claim: Rabbinic and Christian Accounts in Dialogue'

Thursday 24 May, Seminar Room 7, Faculty of Divinity, 14:00-16:00

CIP Seminar 26 April, Professor Marianne Moyaert

last modified Apr 23, 2018 09:24 AM
The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations presents Professor Marianne Moyaert, Chair of Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue, VU University of Amsterdam: 'Ricoeur's Interreligious Hermeneutics, Prejudice, and the Problem of Testimonial Injustice'

The Faculty of Divinity Introduces the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme's second term-length Senior Seminar Series in Inter-Religious Relations. The first session will be given by Professor Marianne Moyaert, Chair of Comparative Theology and Hermeneutics of Interreligious Dialogue at VU University of Amsterdam. The paper is titled 'Ricoeur's Interreligious Hermeneutics, Prejudice, and the Problem of Testimonial Injustice', and a response will be given by PhD student Barnabas Aspray. It will take place on Thursday 26 April, 2.00 pm – 4.00 p.m. in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity. 

The session will be followed by informal refreshments in the Selwyn Room (Divinity).

All welcome. Please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend.

Abstract and Background

I work as an interreligious educator, at a multireligious department of Theology and Religion at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, where both Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu ‘theologians’ are trained as well as religious scholars. My prime pedagogical responsibility in this department is to help form our students in such a way that they become interreligiously literate. Considering the fact that much contemporary societal conflicts are not only due to a lack of religious knowledge about different traditions but are also related to deep prejudices and misunderstandings this is an important pedagogical challenge.

The French philosopher Paul Ricoeur, who is sometimes called the philosopher of all dialogues, has especially shown himself to be a rewarding conversation partner in this process of developing an interreligious pedagogy. His hermeneutical anthropology, according to which we are all others has enabled me to dedramatise the challenge of interreligious learning. We all enter the hermeneutical circle as prejudiced beings and to understand is always to interpret. Though Ricoeur would dismiss any claim to full or complete comprehension just like he would meet all claims to neutrality with suspicion, there is no need to become fatalistic. Human beings (and here Ricoeur shows himself to be a heir of reflexive philosophy) are also capable of critical self-reflection and transformation.

For a long time I have aligned his hermeneutical philosophy and my interreligious education. This has resulted in a pedagogical approach which enables students to develop their skills of interpretation and provides ample opportunities for critical (self-)reflection. However, based on several years of teaching experience in a multireligious context, I have become increasingly conscious of some of the limits of Ricoeur’s interreligious hermeneutics: his hermeneutics lacks a power analysis, which reckons with the majority-minority dynamics in the classroom, as a consequence of which some are more different than others just like some are more prejudiced than others. It has been my educational experience that what some students bring to the conversation is simply not taken seriously, not because they do not have anything significant to say nor because of an innocent misunderstanding, but rather because what they say does not fit in the dominant (often implicit) hermeneutical framework of the majority. The end result is what epistemologist Miranda Fricker would call testimonial injustice, which “happens whenever prejudice on the part of a hearer causes them to attribute a deflated level of credibility to a speaker’s word.” (Fricker 2007)  

In my presentation, I wish to do three things. First, I will briefly provide a Ricoeurian approach to interreligious learning as an encounter between self and other. Secondly, and based on a particular case that I have drawn from my teaching experience, I will explain how Ricoeur’s hermeneutics lacks a power analysis, which likewise limits his capacity to grabble with the problem of testimonial injustice and I will explain how this negatively affects the learning opportunities of students in a multireligious classroom. Last but not least, I will formulate the beginnings of a critical interfaith pedagogy in an effort to overcome the problem of testimonial injustice.

I have particularly benefitted from Ricoeur’s suggestion to think of interreligious dialogue as a practice of linguistic hospitality.

 

Other seminars this term:

Dr Reid B. Locklin (University of Toronto), 'Conquering the Quarters, Preaching in Silence: an Interreligious Exploration of Missionary Advaita Vedānta'

Thursday 3 May, Seminar Room 7, Faculty of Divinity, 11:00-13:00

Dr Sami Everett (CRASSH, University of Cambridge), 'Maghrebinicité: North African Jewish experience in peri-urban Paris since 1981'

Thursday 10 May, Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity, 12:00-14:00

Dr Susannah Ticciati (King's College London), 'Negotiating Conflicting Religious Truth Claim: Rabbinic and Christian Accounts in Dialogue'

Thursday 24 May, Seminar Room 7, Faculty of Divinity, 14:00-16:00

 

The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme Annual Conference Competition

last modified Mar 14, 2018 02:15 PM
The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme launches its first annual conference competition, offering grants of up to £2,000 for successful applicants.

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 of inter-faith relations. Its prime focus is on the relations between religious traditions, and its ethos entails pursuing questions of ‘interactive particularity’ among and within religious traditions, keeping in play both theological and religious studies approaches. It welcomes inter-disciplinary approaches, as well as debate across the interweaving of the secular and the religious, both at inter- and intra- faith levels. Ultimately, it looks to deeper understandings of the complex core identities of religious traditions studied in their interrelations. Through this commitment, CIP has undertaken a broad and diverse range of research and public engagement.


Conference Competition:

As part of its interest in encouraging research on the interrelations between and within religious traditions, as well as religion and forms of secularity, CIP has historically contributed towards academic events in Cambridge that wholly or partly include interests in these areas. Thematic foci to date have included religion and space, religious radicalism, religion and ethnicity, and religious ethics and technology.

In 2018, CIP is developing this dimension of its work by launching a formal annual conference competition. We invite proposals to be submitted by Friday 27 April. £2,000 will be available for the successful proposal. The successful applicant(s) will be announced by Friday 25 May, with conferences expected to take place by Easter term 2019.


Conference Support

We approach conferences as a partnership, and consequently seek to provide support for successful applicants. Our support will include administrative and logistic assistance, as well as help with publicity and a website within the current CIP page dedicated to the conference.

We also anticipate more informal forms of support, such as ad-hoc meetings and discussions, in order to ensure your conference is a success.


Selection Criteria

The aims and objectives of the conference and/or the choice of speakers and panellists should reflect CIP’s ethos, and feature some engagement with the theme of inter-faith relations, broadly construed.

More generally, the Conference Committee welcomes: inter-disciplinary and intra-University collaborations, thoughtful and/or innovative interpretations of the conventional conference format, a commitment to long-term impact (e.g., publications, further events, media engagement), support for postgraduate students and early career researchers, and contributions to CIP’s research profile.

When evaluating the proposals, the conference panel will also pay particular attention to the conference rationale as well as any proposed beneficiaries. We also hope to see clear thinking about the conference budget, including whether CIP would be the sole sponsor and/or what other organisations applicants might be expecting to seek further support from.


Applications

To apply, please send an application to Dr Alexander Kolassa (ak2059@cam.ac.uk) containing the following:
• Applicant Name(s), Position, Faculty/Department
• Title, Preferred Date, Location
• Applicant(s) CVs (Max 2 pages)
• Event Rationale (Max 500 words)
• Programme Outline (e.g., confirmed / invited / target speakers, draft schedule)
• Outcomes (e.g., dissemination, publication, further research activity)
• Publicity Plans
• Draft Budget (including details of any additional funding sources)


Conditions

The lead organiser must belong to the University of Cambridge, and the Conference must take place in Cambridge. The Faculty of Divinity will be available as a venue for the proposed conference without charge. CIP should be recognised as the primary sponsor of the conference. Finally, all conference materials must feature its logo.

Conference organisers should write a 500-word conference report for the CIP website within a month of the event.

Leverhulme Visiting Professor Lecture & Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations, 1 and 2 March 2018, Dr Asad Q. Ahmed

last modified Feb 21, 2018 02:15 PM
The Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations and Leverhulme Visiting Professor Lectures from Professor Asad Q. Ahmed: 'Scripture and Logic' and 'Prophethood, Sectarian Politics, and Rationalist Disciplines in Nineteenth Century India', will take place on Thursday 1 March and Friday 2 March, 12.00 pm – 1.30 p.m. in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity.

This term the Faculty of Divinity is introducing a new Senior Seminar series in Inter-Religious Relations. Our second session will be spread across two seminars and will be given by the Leverhulme Visiting Professor Asad Q. Ahmed. The two sessions, 'Scripture and Logic', and 'Prophethood, Sectarian Politics, and Rationalist Disciplines in Nineteenth Century India' will take place on Thursday 1 March and Friday 2 March, 12.00 pm – 1.30 p.m. in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity. 

Both sessions will be followed by an informal lunch in the Selwyn Room (Divinity).

All welcome. Please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend the lunch, so we can have an idea of numbers. 

 

Abstracts

'Scripture and Logic'

In the history of Muslim exegesis, Qurʾān, Chapter 8, Verse 23, posed a vexing challenge.  On the one hand, the contextually-grounded interpretation of the passage meant the abandonment of several foundational claims and canonical elements of the Sunnī theological system.  And on the other hand, the preservation of this system required reading practices that generally lacked historical recognition.  In other words, a significant tension existed between the elaborated system that constituted the grounds of Sunnī theological discourse and the traditionally-preferred hermeneutics on the integral Qurʾānic lemma.  This lecture presents some historical approaches to this verse, with the focus resting on a treatise by the Ottoman scholar Ismāʿīl Gelenbevī (1143-1205/1730-91).  It concludes with some broader reflections on how the latter scholar imagined the relation of logic to scripture.

'Prophethood, Sectarian Politics, and Rationalist Disciplines in Nineteenth Century India'

This paper presents a partial theory of commentarial practices and of the genre of commentary/gloss in postclassical philosophical writings in the Muslim world.  The thesis is based on the study of a seventeenth-century logic text produced in Muslim India and a range of commentaries it inspired.  The case study focuses on the subject term of propositions.

Asad Q. Ahmed is associate professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He is the author of The Religious Elite of the Early Islamic HijazAvicenna's Deliverance, and of the forthcoming Palimpsests of Themselves:  Philosophical Commentaries in Postclassical Islam.  He has written several articles and co-edited collected volumes in the areas of Islamic history, philosophy in the Islamic world, and on Muslim legal theories.

Sessions will be chaired and responded to by Dr Tony Street, Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge.

 

Senior Seminar: An Overview

Since its 2002 founding, the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme has pursued questions of ‘interactive particularity’ among religious traditions, in terms of both academic research and public engagement.  This intellectual approach seeks to avoid the assumption of universal or ahistorical essences or impulses present in all cultures and individuals, sometimes marked as ‘comparativist’ approaches. Instead, it draws attention to the formation of the identity-bearing particularities of religious traditions, exploring the internal character, the forms of intentionality and the practices associated with these identities. In this respect, we seek to keep in play both theological and religious studies approaches, in the expectation that this mode of enquiry will yield a deeper understanding of the complexities associated with inter-faith relations, and how and where we might begin to analyse them.

In establishing the Seminar, we encourage a broad and inter-disciplinary interpretation of ‘interactive particularity’. The heuristic value of each of these explorations lies in how studying the profound engagements between religious ideas, embodied lives and texts develops a more nuanced understanding of the traditions themselves. Topics include Jewish, Christian, and Muslim engagement with Platonism, the role of religious texts and traditions of interpretation, the use of particular spaces by separate religious traditions, and contemporary engagements with science, ethics, the law, and forms of secularism. We are also interested in analyses of ‘inter-faith’ and related ideas as objects of study, such as evaluations of conceptual and methodological approaches associated with this field.    

Prof Fowden's digital photo archive now online

last modified Feb 19, 2018 10:03 AM
Prof Fowden's digital photo archive now online

Sultan Qaboos Professor of Abrahamic Faiths, and the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme's Academic Director, Garth Fowden, is a historian of first millennium CE Eurasia, who in pursuit of his interests has travelled extensively in the Mediterranean, the Middle East and North Africa. For the greater part of his career he has lived and worked in Greece.

This site presents a digitized version of the photographic archive he developed while conducting research on the landscapes and monuments of these regions.

For a generous subvention that allowed the slides to be digitized at the Cambridge University Library, thanks are due to the Managers of the Sultan Qaboos Fund for Abrahamic Faiths.

New Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations

last modified Jan 22, 2018 02:42 PM
The very first Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations is "Divine Law and Human Intervention: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the US Constitutional Debate". It will take place on Thursday, 1 February, 11.00 am – 1.00 p.m. in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity.

'Divine Law and Human Intervention: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the US Constitutional Debate' (1 February)

This term the Faculty of Divinity is introducing a new Senior Seminar series in Inter-Religious Relations. Our first session will be on 'Divine Law and Human Intervention: Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the US Constitutional Debate', and will take place on Thursday, 1 February, 11.00 am – 1.00 p.m. in the Lightfoot Room, Faculty of Divinity. 

It will be followed by an informal lunch in the Selwyn Room (Divinity).

All welcome. Please email team@interfaith.cam.ac.uk if you would like to attend the lunch, so we can have an idea of numbers. 

Speaking: 
- Dr Holger Zellentin
Lecturer in Classical Rabbinic Judaism, Faculty of Divinity, Cambridge

 
Responding:
- Dr Daniel Weiss, Polonsky Coexist Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies, University of Cambridge
- Dr Sophie Lunn-Rockliffe, Lecturer in Patristics, University of Cambridge



This paper will contextualize the current debates in US constitutional law within the broad context of the Jewish, Christian and Islamic legal culture. Exploring the tension between human innovation and an ancient code seen as authoritative suggests striking similarities between these traditions and sheds new light on religious and political particularities of past and present.

The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme is delighted to be establishing a new Faculty Senior Seminar in Inter-Religious Relations. We look forward to welcoming a range of academics from diverse fields, as well as drawing on Cambridge’s strengths in Divinity and other faculties in developing a flourishing programme.

After our opening seminar on 1 February, we will host Professor Asad Ahmed (University of California, Berkeley, and Visiting Fellow, University of Cambridge) on 1 March.

 

Senior Seminar: An Overview

Since its 2002 founding, the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme has pursued questions of ‘interactive particularity’ among religious traditions, in terms of both academic research and public engagement.  This intellectual approach seeks to avoid the assumption of universal or ahistorical essences or impulses present in all cultures and individuals, sometimes marked as ‘comparativist’ approaches. Instead, it draws attention to the formation of the identity-bearing particularities of religious traditions, exploring the internal character, the forms of intentionality and the practices associated with these identities. In this respect, we seek to keep in play both theological and religious studies approaches, in the expectation that this mode of enquiry will yield a deeper understanding of the complexities associated with inter-faith relations, and how and where we might begin to analyse them.

In establishing the Seminar, we encourage a broad and inter-disciplinary interpretation of ‘interactive particularity’. The heuristic value of each of these explorations lies in how studying the profound engagements between religious ideas, embodied lives and texts develops a more nuanced understanding of the traditions themselves. Topics include Jewish, Christian, and Muslim engagement with Platonism, the role of religious texts and traditions of interpretation, the use of particular spaces by separate religious traditions, and contemporary engagements with science, ethics, the law, and forms of secularism. We are also interested in analyses of ‘inter-faith’ and related ideas as objects of study, such as evaluations of conceptual and methodological approaches associated with this field.    

Borders of Violence & Visions of Peace: The Religious Landscapes of South Asia

last modified Oct 30, 2017 01:33 PM
In October, Cambridge Inter-faith Programme hosted an exciting panel event as part of the University's Festival of Ideas
Borders of Violence & Visions of Peace: The Religious Landscapes of South Asia

CIP Director Ankur Barua

As part of the University's 2017 Festival of Ideas, Cambridge Inter-faith Programme hosted a panel event, "Borders of Violence & Visions of Peace: The Religious Landscapes of South Asia". About sixty people attended to hear our panellists offer a series of presentations approaching our event theme from a variety of angles, before a lively audience Q&A session that touched on a range of topics, including Gandhi, Islamic political theology, inter-faith relations, the role of art, and contemporary Indian politics.

The event line-up is below, and there are more photos on our twitter page.

Professor Julius Lipner, Emeritus Professor of Hinduism and Comparative Religion, University of Cambridge (Chair)
Dr Ankur Barua, Lecturer in Hindu Studies, University of Cambridge
"The Religious Roots of Gandhian Non-Violence: Hopeless Idealism or Resolute Realism?"
Dr Humeira Iqtidar, Senior Lecturer in Politics, King’s College London
"Beyond Liberal Tolerance: South Asian and Islamic conceptions of Tolerance"
Dr Richard David Williams, Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, SOAS, University of London
"Singing to the Sultan, Playing for the Gods: Sonic Approaches to South Asian Religions"
Professor Cosimo Zene, Professor in the Study of Religions and World Philosophies, SOAS, University of London
"The Rise of the Political Subaltern: the Religious Vocabularies of Protest in India and Bangladesh"

Borders of Violence & Visions of Peace: CIP at the Festival of Ideas

last modified Oct 05, 2017 11:14 AM
As part of the 2017 Cambridge Festival of Ideas, the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme is a hosting a panel discussion event about the religious landscapes of South Asia, focusing on the dynamic relationships between religions, including the promises of peace as well as the events of violence.

Borders of Violence

Borders of Violence & Visions of Peace: The Religious Landscapes of South Asia

As part of the 2017 Cambridge Festival of Ideas, the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme is a hosting a panel discussion event about the religious landscapes of South Asia, focusing on the dynamic relationships between religions, including the promises of peace as well as the events of violence.

When: Saturday 21st October, 13.30-15.00

Where: Runcie Room, Divinity Faculty, West Road, Cambridge, CB3 9BS


To book your free place at the event, please sign up via eventbrite: http://religiouslandscapes.eventbrite.co.uk

The historical spaces of South Asia have been shaped for several millennia by diverse forms of spiritualities. They are the homelands of religious systems we today call Hinduism, Buddhism, and Sikhism, and also of some distinctive forms of Christianity and Islam that have interacted in complex ways with local cultures. While these rich tapestries of belief and practice have often generated distinctive visions of peace on the Indian subcontinent, they have also been entangled in Hindu-Muslim carnage during the Partition of British India, and contemporary violence across the lines off Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Buddhist, and Islamic groups in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.

The event will feature presentations from each of our academic experts, addressing the event theme from different angles, followed by a period of audience Q&A.

Panel line-up:

- Professor Julius Lipner, Emeritus Professor of Hinduism and Comparative Religion, University of Cambridge (Chair)
-
Dr Ankur Barua, Lecturer in Hindu Studies, University of Cambridge
"The Religious Roots of Gandhian Non-Violence: Hopeless Idealism or Resolute Realism?"
-
Dr Humeira Iqtidar, Senior Lecturer in Politics, King’s College London
"Beyond Liberal Tolerance: South Asian and Islamic conceptions of Tolerance"
-
Dr Richard David Williams, Lecturer in Ethnomusicology, SOAS, University of London
"Singing to the Sultan, Playing for the Gods: Sonic Approaches to South Asian Religions"
-
Professor Cosimo Zene, Professor in the Study of Religions and World Philosophies, SOAS, University of London
"The Rise of the Political Subaltern: the Religious Vocabularies of Protest in India and Bangladesh"

We hope to see you there. To register, please sign up via eventbrite:
http://religiouslandscapes.eventbrite.co.uk

CIP and Stations of the Cross

last modified Mar 20, 2017 05:03 PM
The ground-breaking art exhibition Stations of the Cross is now taking place in America

CIP is delighted to continue our work with the Stations of the Cross project, building on a very successful exhibition in London in 2016.  Our Research Associate, Giles Waller, has contributed a podcast to this year’s exhibition in Washington D.C., reflecting on the sixth station, ‘Veronica wipes the face of Jesus’, Hans Memling's Saint Veronica (1475) in the National Gallery of Art.

You can listen to this and the podcasts for other Stations here

About Stations of the Cross 2017:

An Exhibition across Washington, D.C. in 14 Iconic Destinations

March 1 – April 16 2017

"Why have you forsaken me?"

Jesus’ words upon the cross speak acutely to the anguish and alienation felt by many today in America, from immigrants and refugees to religious, sexual, and ethnic minorities.

This unique exhibition—held in 14 locations across Washington, D.C. — will use works of art to tell the story of Jesus’ Passion in a new way, acutely relevant to the plight of America’s disenfranchised.  The Stations weave through religious as well as secular spaces, from the Mall to downtown D.C., and up to the National Cathedral.  Instead of easy answers, the Stations aim to provoke the passions: artistically, spiritually, and politically.

The art on display includes monuments, Old Master paintings, and newly commissioned art installations.  Featured artists include Ndume Olatushani—once falsely imprisoned on death row—and Michael Takeo Magruder, one of the world’s leading artists in digital media, who has created a haunting Shroud of Turin filled with the faces of Syrian refugees.

Visitors can take this tour by downloading the smartphone app, ‘Alight: Art & Sacred.’ The app will serve as your tour guide with podcasts from leading clergy, artists, and scholars, along with maps leading to each of the stations. These items, as well as details on the artists, spaces, contributors, and associated events, including openings at the United Methodist Building on the evening of March 2 and the National Cathedral on March 4 are available on our website or by contacting our team below.

The exhibition is supported by Cambridge University Inter-faith Programme, the Catholic Studies Program at Georgetown University, Rocky Mountain College, Coexist House, the Episcopal Evangelism Society, and Trinity Wall Street.

Internship opportunity at Coexist House

last modified Oct 25, 2016 01:09 PM
An exciting chance to work with CIP's sister project, Coexist House - a newly registered charity aiming to transform religious understanding, perspectives and practices and to build better, more peaceful, relationships across divides.

Communications and Marketing Internship

 

(minimum 4 months’ commitment)

 

The project is currently in a ‘without walls programming’ phase and is looking for communications assistance from an individual who has the requisite skill set, an appreciation of religious literacy and understanding of faith-based perspectives. Responsibilities will include: publicising Coexist House activities and events, maintaining Coexist House’s profile, both online and in print (including regular updates to our supporters via social media, newsletter etc). The intern may also be called upon to undertake some desktop research, and pull together reports on some of the programmes.

 

It is expected that the intern will be available for a minimum of 2 days per week. All travel costs and lunch/subsistence expenses to a maximum of £12.50 per day will be covered. The role is to be London-based but home-working will be an option. The role may be suitable for part-time Masters students or full-time PhD students.

 

We offer the opportunity to gain experience with a dynamic and high-profile new initiative in the not-for-profit sector. Coexist House is supported by the V&A Museum, the City of London Corporation, the University of Cambridge, and the Honourable Society of the Inner Temple.

 

To apply for this role, please send a CV and covering letter to Mrs Barbara Bennett: coordinator@coexisthouse.org.uk. The deadline for applications is 7th November 2016.

 

 

Am I My Brother's Keeper? Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis - booking now available online

last modified Sep 05, 2016 03:57 PM
Dr Georgette Bennett, head of the Multifaith Alliance and her colleague Mr Shadi Martini, Syrian refugee and humanitarian activist will be talking about responses to the current refugee crisis. Join us for what promises to be a thought-provoking presentation with information direct from the field.

Find out the story behind the headlines and learn how we can respond.

Click here to book your place

Our speakers:

DR. GEORGETTE F. BENNETT
Founder & President, Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding Founder, Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees

Dr. Georgette Bennett, President of the Tanenbaum Center for Interreligious Understanding, is a sociologist by training who has spent the past 22 years advancing interreligious relations. She founded Tanenbaum in 1992 to combat religious prejudice and the Multifaith Alliance in 2013, to mobilize support for alleviating the suffering of Syria's war victims. Among many other honors, Dr. Bennett has been recognized by the Syrian American Medical Society for her work on behalf of Syrian refugees.

An active philanthropist, Dr. Bennett focuses her personal charitable activities on conflict resolution and intergroup relations. She serves on the boards of Third Way Institute; and the Jewish Funders Network, where she is currently the Vice Chair, was formerly the Chair of the Membership Committee, and co-chaired the 2015 Annual Conference. Additionally, she is an Overseer of the International Rescue Committee. In the U.K. she serves on the Advisory Board of the Foundation for Relief and Reconciliation in the Middle East.

MR SHADI MARTINI

As it has with so many other victims of this crisis, the Syrian war turned businessman Shadi Martini into a refugee, an activist, and an advocate for greater cooperation across faith and cultural lines. Now, as the Senior Syria Advisor to the Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees, Mr. Martini travels throughout the U.S. and abroad to raise awareness of the crisis, encourage greater public engagement, facilitate partnerships between organizations focused on addressing similar issues, and plant the seeds for future stability in the region by fostering people-to-people engagement. He frequently presents to government officials, civil society leaders, the media, and various secular, faith, and interfaith gatherings.

He was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria and graduated from the High School Aleppo Scientific College. Martini attended college in Lebanon where he received his BA from Beirut University College in 1993. After graduation, Martini went to Bulgaria and formed his own manufacturing company. In 2009 he returned to Syria to run his family’s business.

In March 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on those providing aid to anyone suspected of being in the opposition, Mr. Martini, then the General Manager of a hospital in Aleppo, and his comrades worked covertly to provide aid to wounded and ill civilians. This secret network was eventually discovered in mid-2012, forcing him to flee his country.

In 2014, Martini founded Refugee Support Group, a humanitarian aid organization based in Bulgaria. For the past several years he has partnered with various faith-based organizations in the U.S. and abroad, which led to his involvement with the Multifaith Alliance. In that capacity, he continues his work in the Middle East and also coordinates major relief efforts for Syrian refugees flooding into Europe.

Martini is fluent in Arabic, English and Bulgarian. In April, he became a United States citizen.

To register your place please click here

Blog: Interview with The Revd Dr James Walters

last modified Aug 18, 2016 11:28 AM
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.

Dr James WaltersIn May 2016, CIP's partner organisation Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies hosted The Revd Dr James Walters for an event on 'Deproblematising Religious Diversity: A University Case Study'. Walters studied at the Divinity Faculty for both his undergraduate degree and doctorate, and has since collaborated with CIP. Following the discussion, Research Associate Chris Moses spoke to Walters about his thoughts on the challenges and opportunities posed by religious diversity on university campuses.

 

Chris Moses: Can you tell us a bit about your professional trajectory, including your role at the LSE Faith Centre?

The Revd Dr James Walters: What I love about my role at the LSE is that it’s gathered together all strands from my life so far: a love of priestly ministry, academic interests, and experience in politics. And I guess the new thing that was added through this role has been engagement in interfaith relations, which I had some experience of before, but it has really developed in a new way at the LSE.

 

CM: Can you give some background about the establishment of the LSE Faith Centre?

JW: I think it came out of discussions that began at the LSE after the 7/7 bombings in London, which generated a lot of anxiety about religious cohesion within the city more broadly, and on the LSE campus. That also coincided with the incorporation of religion and belief into the Equality Act, which was passed in 2010. So, there was a perceived need for some kind of facility to make it possible for religious people to express their faith on the campus.

What I have sought to add since I took up post has been the slightly more constructive agenda of seeing the opportunities presented by a very diverse international study body for developing religious understanding and interfaith cohesion as a preparation for graduation into a world where religious conflict is very much on the agenda.

 

CM: What have been the greatest challenges to date?

JW: There are often moments of crisis, and they require a constructive response. They might relate to events in the wider world, such as the killing of drummer Lee Rigby or the attack on Gaza, which generate repercussions for the LSEstudent body.

But I would say the more ongoing challenge has been the cultural shift in terms of LSE’s engagement with religion, and particularly those who were concerned that a secular institution was being made ‘religious’ through the creation of this Centre. What I’ve sought to do is explain that if there’s been a shift it’s been in our understanding of secularism, moved from a programmatic secularism which has sought to say, ‘We don’t want to engage with religion in any way at LSE’, towards a procedural secularism, which acknowledges the fact that we are not a confessional university and there is no privilege according to one religious faith, but we can seek to negotiate provision and opportunity for all the different religious and non-religious perspectives within the student body.

 

CM: How do you reach out to those espousing exclusivist accounts of religion, and would not ordinarily be interested in something like the LSE Faith Centre?

JW: We’re very explicit about our agenda. We do not want to get everybody to agree, as if we could distill all these religious perspectives into something we can all share. That was the old agenda of interfaith relations, which is fortunately no longer in vogue.

Being the LSE, we’re trying to be quite pragmatic about it. We’re looking at a world where there is an escalation in religious violence, and we’re saying, ‘We want to reduce this, and we think an important way to do this is simply understand what other people believe, and to deepen respect people have for other positions’. And to say that, we need to do that in honesty, so we want people to bring the fullness of their beliefs and their perspectives to the table.

 

CM: How does the Faith Centre balance its positive perspective on faith with a meaningful engagement with the many problems associated with religion?

JW: The Centre is founded upon a positive vision of the kind of the world of religious coexistence and understanding that we want to see, and everything we do is working towards that. But, if we don’t open up some cans of worms along the way, then we’re not being honest about how to realise the vision. That includes asking the difficult questions about the treatment of women in faith communities, attitudes towards lesbian gay bisexual transgender people, uses and abuses of scripture, and of course, religious violence. So we’re seeking to have those kinds of conversations respectfully, and without the judgement of secular assumptions, but pursuing the agenda of this positive vision.

 

CM: You’ve had experience of both Cambridge and the LSE. How would you compare the place of chaplaincy in these institutions?

JW: I sometimes feel very grateful that I am chaplain in a secular university, where the engagement with religion is quite a new development. So, we’ve been able to do that without some of the baggage that other confessional universities will have, such as how we stay faithful to our traditions while also expanding. There have been questions for us but of a different order because we are a secular university.

I suppose that for a university with a church heritage like Cambridge the task is different, but there are also advantages. There is already a discourse around religion present, and there are already resources around campus for engaging in a broader conversation about religious pluralism and conflict.

But I think the challenge must be how to develop and expand a Christian heritage that has itself been contested in various ways over the years into something that is responsive to both a more religiously diverse student body and a world where we have to take the non-Christian religions more seriously. And that’s a challenge not just for Oxbridge chapels and chaplains, but for the Church of England more broadly.

 

CM: What is the future trajectory of interfaith relations on campus?

JW: All the evidence points to a more difficult situation. Religion seems to be increasingly contentious in the politics of the National Union of Students, and within universities themselves in many places. But, I hope that we’re modelling something constructive that can at least contextualise those disagreements, and put some energy into a more constructive engagement with religious difference on campus.

 

*Please note this interview also appears on the Cambridge Institute on Religion and International Studies (CIRIS) website.

*Top photograph: The Sacred Desert window by Christopher Le Brun, in the building's Faith Centre. Photograph by Nigel Stead/LSE Images.

CIP Director to speak at upcoming conference

last modified Aug 16, 2016 04:58 PM
Join us in Cambridge in September to hear Dr Ankur Barua speak at a conference about the future of inter-faith dialogue, organised by the World Congress of Faiths.

On Friday 23 September at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, CIP Director Dr Ankur Barua will speak at a conference exploring the theological and philosophical developments in the landscape of religion and belief in the UK, with an emphasis on future aims and practices in inter-faith dialogue.

Organised by the World Congress of Faiths, the conference will be chaired by Dr David Cheetham of the School of Philosophy, Theology, and Religion, University of Birmingham. It will also feature talks from Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield, Professor Ursula King, Revd Dr Alan Race, and Professor Chris Baker.  

There will be an optional conference dinner addressed by Dr Amineh Hoti, international inter-faith activist and peace builder and Executive Director of the Centre for Dialogue and Action.

For more information and to register, please visit the WCF's conference page.

To discover more, read Jenny Kartupelis' blog article on the past and future of inter-faith dialogue.

*Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Internship Opportunity

last modified Jun 15, 2016 02:59 PM
The Inter Faith Network for the UK is currently advertising for a 6 month internship.

About the Inter Faith Network

The Inter Faith Network for the UK - of which the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme is a member - works to promote understanding, cooperation and good relations between organisations and persons of different faiths in the UK.


Internship opportunity

IFN is offering an opportunity for a 6 month internship to help on projects such as national Inter Faith Week, local inter faith support and engagement, the development of materials sharing case studies and good practice, and a range of other projects. This is a fulltime, paid, internship at the London Living Wage from 15 September 2016 until 15 March 2017.

If you are interested in finding out more, please email Hannah Cassidy at ifnet@interfaith.org.uk and she can email you further information and an application form. The closing date for receipt of application forms is 5 July.

More information about the Inter Faith Network can be found online at www.interfaith.org.uk.  

Blog: Exploring the past and future of inter-faith dialogue

last modified Jun 15, 2016 12:09 PM
Jenny Kartupelis of the World Congress of Faiths (WCF) explores the development of inter-faith dialogue over the past century, and looks forward to a fascinating conference coming up in September.

WCF Blog Image

 

One of the longest-established interfaith organisations, the World Congress of Faiths (WCF), turns 80 this year and is celebrating with a programme designed to extend its reach and complement the work of other interfaith bodies. 

The Congress is a Fellowship that has its roots in the World’s Parliament of Religions, first held in Chicago in 1893, and the Religions of Empire Conference, held in London in 1924.  Inspired by these movements and his own spiritual experiences, explorer Sir Francis Younghusband organised two international conferences in London, and after the second of these, in 1936 and the shadow of a looming World War, WCF became established as an independent body.

Nowadays there are many more interfaith organisations, ranging from the small and local to the international; some located in academe and running major research programmes while others may be based in large cities or small towns. The focus can be on delivering social action, on working with secular society, or on facilitating personal dialogue. 

Individuals and groups from different faith or belief traditions have developed a rich variety of relational modes, including discussion groups, scriptural reasoning, joint social action and advocacy. However, none are mutually exclusive and all are underpinned by a desire for trust rather than suspicion, and creating understanding in place of ignorance.

In planning for its anniversary celebration, the World Congress of Faiths decided to review its work and consider its own role, questioning whether its long history put it in a unique position to offer a particular mode of relationship-building.  As an organisation for individuals, it welcomes people from all faiths and beliefs who have a desire for constructive interaction and a mind open to other ways of thinking, living and growing spiritually. 

No-one is asked to represent their tradition, nor act on its behalf, only to reflect, share and learn through informal meeting and more formal events. 

WCF also publishes an international journal, Interreligious Insight, which is to be found in many educational establishments.

Members and friends of WCF were in agreement that its unique role in a pluralist society is to bring people together to contemplate, discuss and promote the importance of recognising spiritual life, individual and collective, in the modern world.  Where religious divisions are assumed by secular society to exist and to be a major problem, WCF can act as one of the advocates and exemplars for people from different traditions fostering better  understanding between themselves and within secular society; primarily by sharing the various ways in which they relate to the spiritual journey that humanity must make, whether together or alone. 

Consideration and contemplation of the roots of interfaith practice throws light on the nature and potential of that understanding.  With this in mind, WCF is holding a conference, Religious Pluralism and Interfaith Dialogue: Learning for the Future on 23 September at Emmanuel College Cambridge.  Speakers will look at aspects of interfaith theology and practice and its influence on wider society; delegates will be able to take part in discussion about their own experience and study, pooling knowledge that can be used to produce ideas and resources for everyone – but in particular for the generation that will be the next champions of the vital need for all people of faith and belief to work in harmony. 

If you want to be part of that discussion, you can find more information and register to come to the day at www.worldfaiths.org/conference-2016  and look out for a report on the same website after the event.

Coexist House is recruiting!

last modified Jun 06, 2016 10:06 AM
Are you passionate about deepening public understanding of religion? CIP's partner organisation Coexist House is looking for a new Project Lead to join its dynamic team.

The objective of this role is to guide a young project with a big dream, from its early start-up days, towards operating as a sustainable and flourishing organisation, ready to meet its ambitious goals.

 

Coexist House

 

About Coexist House

Coexist House will be a new global centre in the heart of London for transforming public understanding about the practices and perspectives of the word's religions. In doing so, it will have a transformative impact on the quality of debate surrounding religion and will promote better, more peaceful, relationships across divides.

Visit the Coexist House site.

 

The role

Working with the Coexist House Trustees (who comprise senior representatives of the founding partners and others) and reporting directly to the Head of the Faculty of Divinity in Cambridge, the Project Lead will work towards the goal of creating Coexist House. At the helm of a small team, the Project Lead will manage the project's budget and infrastructure, planning its development for the coming years. The post-holder will consider options for a physical space for Coexist House, and will oversee a programme of Coexist House 'Without Walls' events. The role of the Project Lead will be as Coexist House's lead advocate, fundraising and widening the pool of its supporters. He or she will have overall responsibility for Coexist House's communications and relationships and will support the Trustees in their fundraising efforts, and where appropriate will work to grow and develop their Board and sub-committees.

 

Candidates

The successful candidate will have a passion for the cause of deepening public understanding of religion, although their experience may be in a complementary field. Representing the University of Cambridge on behalf of Coexist House, he or she will be a believer in the value of academic research for public-facing projects. The person appointed will be expected to have a good honours degree, experience of fundraising and strategic planning, and skills in managing projects.

Working on a visionary project with an exciting roster of tools, supporters and contacts at its disposal, you will be a driven self-starter who can run with opportunities and can deploy excellent planning, communication and leadership skills.

 

Apply now via Cambridge University's job opportunities site.

Deadline for applications: 20 June 2016

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