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Cambridge Interfaith Programme

A table bearing objects including four books, a mosaic tile, a metal cup, folded paper cranes, and a candle holder.

Inter-religious relations occur accidentally, but also through the deliberate cultivation of meeting spaces for those from different faith backgrounds. In addition to the practice of SR (described elsewhere), CIP has been trialling methods for opening up inter-religious encounter that are less reliant on participants’ literacy and/or shared language. 

At the edge of research and practice

In September 2023, CIP hosted an academic conference to explore examples of inter-religious encounter through material objects. This was followed in October by a research—practice symposium organised in partnership with the Faith & Belief Forum and attended by trainee teachers and postgraduate students. In both contexts, CIP researchers sought to advance understanding of how objects function as stimuli for difficult conversations about religious difference.

Dr Anastasia Badder and Dr Safet HadziMuhamedovic also convened an open object-led session as part of the 2023 Cambridge Festival.

Working with schools and teachers

During 2023, CIP undertook a pilot project to explore how schoolteachers and their classes might benefit from material-led approaches. 4 schools, 16 teachers and more than 200 pupils from years 5–8 participated. Findings are feeding into plans for longer-term work to address capacity gaps in Religious Education. (Further information is available on enquiry.)

Further reading

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