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The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme

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Among our International Advisors we are grateful for the support and advice of: Dr Ghasem Kakaie, Professor, Shiraz University, Iran

The Faculty of Divinity in the University of Cambridge is one of the world’s leading centres for Theology and Religious Studies, and has a long and distinguished tradition of scholarship and theological and philosophical thought. It achieves the highest ratings in government research and teaching assessments; since the early 1990s has undergone the largest development in its history, including a new £۸ million building to accommodate the growth in numbers of academic staff and students, and in new teaching and research areas. The Faculty has an international staff and student body from across the major religious traditions and strong links with many regions of the world.

The focus of the Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme is on the core identities of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, both historically and in the contemporary world, and on ways in which they can engage better with each other and with society at large. CIP uniquely offers:

  • a world-class centre of teaching and research across all three Abrahamic faiths, which, through collaborative contact between scholars and institutions around the world, is bringing fresh perspectives and new understanding to the study of these religions.
  • public education and outreach to influence understanding of the three traditions and their interrelations across the faith communities and wider society.

The aim of the Programme is to develop Cambridge as a centre of academic excellence in the study of the three monotheistic religions and their inter-relations. We want to be a place of hospitality and collegiality that will welcome scholars and students from across the world to study their own and each other’s religious traditions in a committed and fruitful way. The fruit of that research will contribute to our public outreach dimension which seeks to develop greater public understanding of the three monotheistic faiths.

CIP has a core team of three working on its feasibility study. It is guided by a steering committee and is overseen by a Management Committee comprised of senior members of the Faculty and University.

  • Director: Professor David Ford, Regius Professor of Divinity
  • Project Manager: Miss Catriona Laing

Professor David Ford
Catriona Laing

Our Steering committee includes:

“The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme has a number of International Advisors who are helping us develop links with academic and public institutions across the world”

Among our International Advisors we are grateful for the support and advice of:

  • Professor Peter Ochs, Edgar Bronfman Professor of Modern Judaic Studies, University of Virginia
    Peter Ochs Letter
  • Dr Aref Ali Nayed, Advisor on Muslim-Christian Dialogue issues to the Sheikh Muhammed bin Rashid Center for Cultural Understanding.
  • Dr Ghasem Kakaie, Professor, Shiraz University, Iran

Our Management Committee includes:

  • Chair: Dr Timothy Jenkins, Associate Director of Research, Study of Religion
  • Secretary: Dr Ben Quash
  • Professor David F. Ford
  • Professor William Horbury, Professor of Jewish and Early Christian Studies
  • Professor Richard Hunter, Chairman of the School of Arts and Humanities
  • Professor Julius Lipner, Professor of Indian Religions
  • Professor Stefan Reif, Professor of Medieval Hebrew Studies
  • Dr Janet Martin Soskice, Reader in Philosophical Theology
  • Professor Graham Stanton, Lady Margaret’s Professor of Divinity
  • Dr David Thompson, Reader in Church History and Director of CARTS
  • Mr Timothy Winter, Lecturer in Islamic Studies

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The Cambridge Inter-Faith Programme

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International Conference of Shiraz School

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Shiraz School Congress of Wisdom and Artistic Mysticism(the 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries) Shiraz school was one of the philosophical schools of thought in the Islamic era, which shed light over philosophy in Iran and in the Islamic world for about three centuries. There had been more than twenty philosophers in this school of thought who had actively done philosophical and dialectical researches. Some of the most prominent of these thinkers are: Qazi Azod al-Din ‘Iji, Mir Seyyed Sharif Jorjani, Seyyed Sadr al-Din Dashtaki, Jallal al-Din Davani, Mir Ghiyath al-Din Dashtaki and Fazel Khafri.

Some of the characteristics of Shiraz School are as follows: perpetuation of philosophical thoughts in Iran and in the world of Islam, Predominance of theology over philosophical thought, prevalence of commentary and annotation in a large scale instead of monographs, gradual compatibility of philosophy with Shiism, gradual prevalence of Illuminative thought and proximity of religion and philosophy. And finally, the source of many philosophical initiatives of Mulla Sadra Shirazi is the philosophical and dialectical discourses of Shiraz School. It is impossible to find the roots for philosophical studies of later centuries without knowing Shiraz School. In these mentioned centuries, there had been great Sufis an mystics in Shiraz who also influenced philosophical thought.

For introducing and surveying Shiraz School, International Conference of Shiraz School will be held in Tehran and Shiraz, December 2008 by the cooperation of several organizations.

Scientific Group President: Dr. Ghasem Kakaie.

Members of the Scientific Group:

۱- Dr. Gholam Reza Avani

۲- Dr. Gholam Hosein Ebrahimi Dinani

۳- Dr. Shahram Pazouki

۴- Dr. Nasrullah Pourjavadi

۵- Dr. Mohsen Kadivar

۶- Dr. Shahin Avani

۷- Dr. Sa’id Zahede Zahedani

۸-  Hojatoleslam Mohammad Barkat.

Secretary: Ahmad Mazaheri

Research Topics:

۱٫ Historical Studies:

۱-۱٫ Shiraz School Characteristics.

۱-۲٫ Political, social and cultural factors effective in the emergence of Shiraz School.

۱-۳٫ Shiraz, scientific center during 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th centuries.

۱-۴٫ Mansourieh School and its role in Shiraz School.

۱-۵٫ Khan School; a combination of philosophy and art.

۱-۶٫ Surveying the causes of the decline and intermission of the philosophy and the theology in Shiraz School.

۲٫ Studying the works and introducing prominent figures:

۲-۱٫ Philosophers:

۲-۱-۱٫ Khaje Nasir al-Din Tousi and  Shiraz School.

۲-۱-۲٫ Qutb al-Din Shirazi, the Pioneer of  Shiraz school.

۲-۱-۳٫ Qazi Azd al-Din ‘Iji.

۲-۱-۴٫ Mir Seyyed Sharif  Jorjani.

۲-۱-۵٫ Sadr al-Din Dashtaki (Seyyed Sanad)

۲-۱-۶٫ Ghiyath al-Din Mansour Dashtaki

۲-۱-۷٫ Jalal al-Din Muhammad Davani

۲-۱-۸٫ Shams al-Din Muhammad Khafri

۲۱–۹٫Qazi Mir Hosein Meybodi

۲-۱-۱۰٫ Haj Mahmoud Neyrizi

۲-۱-۱۱٫ Shah Taher Shirazi

۲-۱-۱۲٫ Mir Fath-allah Shirazi

۲-۱-۱۳٫ Habib-allah Baghnavi

۲-۱-۱۴٫ Qazi Beyzavi

۲-۲٫ Sufis and Mystics:

۲-۲-۱٫ Sheikh Rouzbehan Baqli

۲-۲-۲٫ Shah Da’i Shirazi

۲-۲-۳٫ Mahmoud Dehdar

۲-۲-۴٫ Muhammad Dehdar

۲-۲-۵٫ Shams al-Din Muhammad Lahiji

۲-۲-۶٫ Ruk al-Din Shirazi (Baba Rukna)

۳٫ Philosophical and Mystical Works Analysis:

۳-۱٫ The Puzzle of the Liar in Shiraz School.

۳-۲٫ Recognition of Shiraz School by reliance on unreleased manuscripts.

۴٫ Comparative Studies:

۴-۱٫ Connection and interaction between Peripatetic, Illuminative, Logical, and Mystical subjects in Shiraz School.

۴-۲٫ Relation between Theology,Quranic interpretation and Shiraz School.

۴-۳٫Shiraz School and its connection with other schools of thought. (India, Harat, Tabriz, Isfahan, Ottoman).

۴-۴٫ Influence of  Shiraz school on Mulla Sadra’s sublime philosophy.

۴-۵٫ Examining the artistic elements of Shiraz School philosophical and mystical views.

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