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The purpose of the Woolf Institute is to serve the public good. The Institute studies how relations between Jews, Christians, and Muslims can enhance our understanding of key concepts of public life: community and identity, personal responsibility and social solidarity. Combining theology with the social sciences and the humanities, the Woolf Institute seeks to strengthen the ethical framework that is needed for our political, economic and social life.
Our teaching and research examines common purpose and points of difference between Jews, Christians and Muslims from a multidisciplinary perspective. We focus particularly on Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. In addition to the pursuit of knowledge, the Woolf Institute designs public education programmes aimed at improving public and voluntary sector services and linking difference with the broader sustainability of communities.
As an independent institute working closely with the University of Cambridge, we have the expertise and flexibility necessary to combine theory, research and practice while offering world-class scholarship in a rich learning environment.
The Institute is named in honour of Lord Harry Woolf, former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and was founded by Dr Edward Kessler MBE, described by the Times Higher Education Supplement as ‘probably the most prolific figure in interfaith academia’.