The Faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (FAMES), University of Cambridge, is delighted to offer the MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Specialisation: Muslim-Jewish Relations) for the 2017-18 academic year.

 Apply now for the programme beginning in the 2017-18 academic year.

Disfigured by the Gaza War and the explosive rise of Islamic State, the focus of the media and of general discussion has been on conflicts between members of different religions. Muslim-Jewish Relations are viewed primarily through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, although no two faiths are closer in their history, cultures and practice than Judaism and Islam. The present political antagonism obscures their many shared aspects and the complex relationships in the everyday encounter of Muslims and Jews, past and present. This course will approach Muslim-Jewish Relations from historical, sociological, anthropological and linguistic perspectives, providing an in-depth introduction into the topic.

The MPhil will consist of three papers each assessed by an examination or a 5,000-word essay, and a 15,000-word dissertation. The three papers, taught by Faculty members and affiliated staff, are:

Muslim-Jewish Relations, Foundations – students will be introduced to the analytical tools required for studying Muslim-Jewish relations, primary sources in translation and original language, bibliographical method, objectivity in the study of interfaith relations and controversial themes.

Muslim-Jewish Relations, Special Topics – these topics will focus on contemporary issues between Jews and Muslims, and why these relations are important to understanding the position of religious minorities, faith identity and politics in the Middle East and North Africa. Comparisons will be made to Europe and the United States in order to understand how trends in the region are related to politics and social change elsewhere.

Cairo Genizah – students will be given an introduction to the Genizah manuscripts and their importance for the study of Muslim-Jewish relations in the Middle Ages. Most of the teaching will be based on a selection of Genizah texts in Hebrew or Judaeo-Arabic. These will be read in edited form and also from the original manuscripts in the Taylor-Schechter Genizah Research Unit in Cambridge (

Applicants are required to apply to the University of Cambridge by the published application deadlines ( Applicants for this course are expected to have a university qualification in either Hebrew or Arabic. Depending on the number and quality of the applicants, the Woolf Institute, which focuses on the study of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim Relations, will offer bursaries to contribute to the fees. If you plan to apply for this bursary, you must ensure that you submit your application by 7 December 2016.

For further information, contact Dr Esther-Miriam Wagner:


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