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Woolf Institute

  • Research Institutions

    • Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0UB,UK
  • woolf

  • English
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As the first and only centre in Europe dedicated to fostering a better understanding of relations between Muslim and Jews, the Woolf Institute aims to connect the multidisciplinary study of relations with broader practical and theoretical questions, including the importance of trust in everyday life, the role of religion in international diplomacy, and improving end of life care in local hospices. We strive, in our research and outreach, to demonstrate how greater understanding of commonality and difference can inform and enhance the wider public good.


The Woolf Institute opened its doors in 1998. Its founders, Rev Prof Martin Forward and Dr Edward Kessler, who had both been involved in the study and practice of interfaith dialogue for many years, realised that despite the importance of Jewish-Christian dialogue in Europe, few seminaries or universities were able to offer courses on the insights of the encounter between Judaism and Christianity.

IRD Activities

  • Teaching

    The Woolf Institute offers a range of educational opportunities including online options: ‘Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter', ‘Is Interfaith Dialogue Important?' and ‘Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges', PhD scholarships in collaboration with the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust for outstanding University of Cambridge students, and Professional Doctorates in collaboration with Middlesex University

  • Public Education

    The Woolf Institute engages in a number of public education activities. (a) End of Life Care: The Woolf Institute offers bespoke training in hospitals and hospices for nurses, doctors, chaplains, volunteers and other professionals that address issues of religious and spiritual diversity in end of life care. (b) Teaching our Own and Other Faiths in Schools - International Issues in Religious Education: The project aims to identify principles for teaching and learning about other faiths, in the UK and USA, which are both culturally sensitive and theologically aware. (c) Commission on Religion and Belief in British Public Life: The Commission has considered the place and role of religion and belief in contemporary Britain, and the significance of emerging trends and identities, has examined how ideas of Britishness and national identity may be inclusive of a range of religions and beliefs, and may in turn influence peoples self-understanding, has explored how shared understandings of the common good may contribute to greater levels of mutual trust and collective action, and to a more harmonious society, and will make recommendations for public life and policy. 3.Online Courses: The Online Courses offer individuals the opportunity to interact with interesting and like-minded people from all over the world and from all walks of life. Online study brings education right into your home. (a) Bridging the Great Divide: the Jewish-Muslim Encounter, (b)Interreligious Understanding Today, (c) Jews, Christians and Muslims in Europe: Modern Challenges, (c)Religion is..., (d)Representation of Jewish-Christian Relations in Literature

  • Summer School

    The Woolf Institute has developed Summer School opportunities to commence in summer 2019. The Summer School aims to offer programmes of study for students that will draw on the research and teaching expertise of academics and doctoral scholars at the Woolf Institute, as well as academics within Cambridge. Given the remit of our work at the Woolf Institute, the curriculum will include an interdisciplinary approach to the study of interreligious and interfaith relations.

  • Main Focus Countries of Activities

    UK - Western Europe - Eastern Europe - Southern Europe - Northern Europe - USA - Northern Africa - South-Western Asia - Southern Asia - UK - Western Europe - Eastern Europe - Southern Europe - Northern Europe - USA - Northern Africa - South-Western Asia - Southern Asia - World - UK -