Interfaith Impact: experiences, outcomes and evaluation
Dr Richard McCallum, Senior fellow at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies Oxford presents “Interfaith Impact: experiences, outcomes and evaluation”
Dr Richard McCallum is a senior fellow at the Centre for Muslim-Christian Studies Oxford, an associate member of the Faculty of Theology and Religion at the University of Oxford, and is the founder and director of the Oxford Muslim-Christian Summer School. He is a sociologist of religion with research interests in the contemporary encounter of Christians and Muslims in society.
Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, there has been a multiplication of programmes designed to improve the relationships between faith communities at both global and local levels. Governments, civil society organizations and philanthropically minded individuals have sponsored a range of new initiatives. However, how do we know they are effective? This lecture explores three summer schools which have been hosted in leading centres of learning – Yale (2011), Cambridge (2011-2015) and Oxford (2015-) – bringing together Muslims, Christians and Jews. It discusses their various different aims, audiences and programmes, and acknowledges the difficulty of critically evaluating both the impact such experiences have on the participants and the ongoing benefits they may provide to their communities. It looks at some of the empirical evidence that indicates their effect on the individual participants and the various frameworks against which they may be measured to determine the degree to which they are a source of hope in our fractured world.