The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme
Enable rich and fruitful discussion of scriptural texts between Muslims, Jews and Christians - thereby helping to deepen understanding between members of each faith tradition, build trust and friendship between participants, and develop new research methods and tools for collaboratively studying texts; expand its sphere of engagement to encompass non-Abrahamic faiths; accomplish its goals within both academic and public landscapes, both in the UK (where it is based) and globally.
The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme was born in 2002 with the aim of bringing the resources of the Faculty of Divinity, University of Cambridge, and the University more generally, to bear on questions about the relationship between Jews, Christians and Muslims. In 2005, CIP embarked on a three-year feasibility 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. With the support of valued partners and benefactors, CIP continues to go from strength to strength. It is now expanding its sphere of engagement to non-Abrahamic traditions, including Hinduism.
- Scriptural Reasoning
The main interreligious dialogue activity undertaken by CIP is Scriptural Reasoning. Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a tool for inter-faith dialogue whereby people of different faiths come together to read and reflect on their scriptures. Unlike many forms of inter-faith engagement, SR is not about seeking agreement but rather exploring the texts and their possible interpretations across faith boundaries, and learning to ‘disagree better’. The result is often a deeper understanding of others and one’s own scriptures, as well as the development of strong bonds across faith communities. CIP leads and contributes to SR workshops and programmes both in the UK and internationally - including an international summer school programme - and aims to train others to bring SR to their own communities. SR is now practised globally, including in places affected by religion-related tensions and conflict
- Public Education
The Cambridge Inter-faith Programme's public education work is about creatively disseminating our research and teaching to a broad public audience. Public education is core to our vision, and CIP works with its sister project Coexist House and others to work with professionals, public services, schools and youth, in a variety of forms. The ultimate vision for Coexist House is the creation of a London centre for exhibitions and education, a land-mark centre dedicated to encountering and understanding religions.
Main Focus Countries of Activities
UK - World - UK