‘Who is my Neighbour? A Summer School in Christian Engagement with Islam’ was hosted by the Christian-Muslim Studies Network at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh in June 2019.

It is hoped that this course – which offers the basics of interfaith engagement to Christian ministers and lay leaders in both an academic and workshop setting – will repeat in the future. With this in mind, we are now studying the detailed feedback offered by this summer’s participants and contributors, who offered imaginative and thoughtful ideas about everything from the setting of the course to future workshops in Christian-Muslim engagement.

We would like to share a few of their thoughts for anyone seeking ideas or inspiration for Christian-Muslim engagement in another community or institution.

Some participants took a few days before or after class to spend time in the summer school’s host city. Several have contributed their photos, both of the class discussion and their time in the iconic city of Edinburgh.

Princes Street in Edinburgh
  • ‘I very much appreciated the opportunity to meet and work with a very diverse group of students, from Scotland, the rest of the UK, Continental Europe, and the United States, with a wide variety of experience, involving both church leadership and wider social programmes’.  – Course contributor
Garden at New College
  • ‘I thought the sessions with Muslims speaking specifically from their religious perspective were particularly valuable. It helped to put facts about Islam into a context of religious expression and practice’. – Dr Joshua R. Ritter
  • ‘All of the speakers were amazing, but Mona Siddiqui and Joshua Ralston in particular were incredible. Shortly after the course started I realized this was one of those moments in my life when you get motivated to be in the present as much as you can – just because of their attitude, professional commitment, and the atmosphere the two of them created’. – Ms Nóra Kozák, a volunteer teacher of Hungarian as a foreign language in Kalunba, Hungary
View of Arthur's Seat
  • ‘The 3.5 day format seemed to work well, making it worthwhile for people to come some distance in order to attend while not requiring anyone to give up too much time in their busy schedules, and I very much hope that it will be possible to repeat, and build on, the experience in future years.’ – Course contributor
View of Edinburgh
  • ‘The most valuable thing about this course was the exchange of personal/work experiences with other participants and speakers. As the group was international and everybody came from a different background, these shared experiences were truly varied, which made the summer course even more interesting’. – Ms Nóra Kozák

Interested in summer schools?

We hope that this was the first of many such summer courses for faith leaders and laity who may not otherwise have opportunities to learn about interfaith engagement. If you or your institution would be interested in a future summer school – either for Christian leaders, Muslim leaders, or a mix – in the future, please let us know using this form.