This July, the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme will bring thirty students from Islamic, Christian and Jewish backgrounds around the world to Madingley Hall near Cambridge, for a three-week programme of inter-faith education from the 11th to the 28th July 2011. Students will learn about forms of inter-faith engagement past and present, be trained in the practice of inter-faith scriptural reasoning, and be led through a process of reflection on the inter-faith possibilities and challenges of their home contexts. The programme will include visits to religious sites around the UK, lectures from specialists in Jewish, Christian and Islamic approaches to inter-faith engagement from around the world, and extensive opportunities for the students to learn from one another. The last of these is particularly important: we hope that the Summer School students will form relationships that will last well beyond the Summer School itself.
The Summer School will be an opportunity for inter-faith engagement that adheres to CIP’s ethos. We will explore the resources that each tradition offers for peaceful and serious engagement with the others, and look for the forms of coexistence and friendship that are possible between traditions that remain distinct and different. Coming to agreement on theology, politics or any other subject is not our aim, nor is the creation of some neutral middle ground; rather the aim is to learn to live well with disagreement, and to disagree more fruitfully and intelligently.
All the costs of tuition, accommodation, meals, activities and visits will be covered by the Cambridge Inter-faith Programme, thanks to generous support from the Omani Ministry of Religious Affairs and from the Polonsky Foundation. Students need only find funds to cover their travel to and from Cambridge.
The Summer School is intended for people who are working towards a position of leadership, particularly in a religious context. This could mean that you are a student, or are in training for religious leadership or ministry of any kind. It could mean that you already have a formal or informal leadership position in your community. Or it could mean that you hope to have a position of leadership in your community in the future. The Summer School will be particularly appropriate for students at the later stages of undergraduate-level study, or the early stages of graduate-level study, or in the early stages of active leadership or ministry. Applicants should have an interest in inter-faith engagement, but they do not need any prior inter-faith experience.
Among the other participants, we are looking for five interns who are fluent in both Arabic and English, who can help our Arabic-speaking students participate as fully as possible in the Summer School. It will be the responsibility of the interns to ensure that the Arabic-speaking students are not feeling lost or left behind, and that any concerns they have about their classes are communicated effectively back to the teachers. If you would like to be considered as on of the five interns, please state this in your application, and include in the application details of relevant skills.
Applicants should supply a CV and a brief statement (no more than 400 words) explaining why they are interested in attending the Summer School, to firstname.lastname@example.org, with ‘Application for CIP Summer School’ in the subject header of the email. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Friday 25 February 2011. Successful applicants will be informed by 18 March.