New E-learning Course on 27 August 2012: Bridging the Great Divide: The Jewish-Muslim Encounter

The Woolf Institute has been international in its outlook since its inception. Its e-learning courses have attracted students from around the world for over 10 years. The Woolf Institute and the School of International Service at the American University in Washington are delighted to offer their e-learning course for the second year running. Bridging the Great Divide: The Jewish–Muslim Encounter was conceived by Dr Edward Kessler and Professor Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies.

This 15-week e-learning course will start on 27 August 2012. (Deadline for application submission is 6 August 2012.) The application form can be downloaded here.

The normal course fee for the American University award is £2500 but Woolf Institute students will be able to apply either for one of the 5 full scholarships or 5 bursaries (resulting in a reduction of fees to £450 each).

For more information please contact Emma Harris or +44 (0)1223 741038.


No two religions are closer together than Judaism and Islam, yet today, ironically, no two religions are further apart. This course will explore the history, culture and theology of Muslims and Jews, reflecting both on similarities and differences as well as the major challenges. Assisted by leading scholars in Europe and the US with a wealth of experience in this field, the course will also offer strategies for building bridges between the communities.

While there has been notable interfaith activity in Europe and the United States in recent decades, the Jewish-Muslim dialogue and understanding are far from satisfactorily developed. Too often, there is neither space, nor indeed the necessary trust, which are prerequisites to the proper understanding of the two faiths. Experience has shown that when subjects like the Israeli-Palestinian relationship or antisemitism and Islamophobia are discussed, the dialogue too often becomes embittered or breaks down.

Because this course is committed to the highest levels of scholarly integrity, it will provide a space for the discussion of the entire range, in the broadest sense, of the Jewish-Muslim encounter which does not preclude even the most controversial issues between them.

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