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Cambridge Interfaith Programme


This Templeton Foundation-funded grant led by Dr Joanna Leidenhag (University of Leeds) pairs theologians with empirical scientists working in the area of psychology and language.

During a pilot phase (September 2022–September 2023), the work included four researchers based in Cambridge:—Dr Daniel Weiss (Polonsky-Coexist Senior Lecturer in Jewish Studies) and Professor Napoleon Katsos (Linguistics) at the University of Cambridge; and two further researchers at Cambridge Muslim College.

Weiss and Katsos focused on illuminating classical rabbinic forms of text-interpretation by comparison to language acquisition in child development and in neurodivergent individuals. In particular, they are exploring the rabbinic practice of uncovering multiple ‘creative’ readings of scriptural texts.

A full grant was awarded in December 2023, extending the research into early 2026. Two postdoctoral researchers will build on the foundations laid by Weiss and Katsos.

About Dr Daniel Weiss (Faculty of Divinity website)

About Professor Napoleon Katsos (Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages and Linguistics website)

About the God and Human Speech project (from

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