History & Newsletter

The International Interfaith Centre was inaugurated in Oxford, UK on 6 December 1993, at the end of the 1993 Year of Interreligious Understanding and Cooperation. The organisations and individuals backing it had been creators of the Year and many of its activities. As a result of the increasing amount and variety of interfaith activity around the world, it was perceived that a need could be met by an international, interfaith centre which was informed about all these different efforts and able to encourage continuing interfaith understanding and cooperation.

A Trust was established by the two oldest international interfaith organizations, the International Association for Religious Freedom (IARF) and the World Congress of Faiths (WCF), together with Westminster College Oxford (now part of Oxford Brookes University), which had a highly regarded Department of Theology and the Study of Religions. The work receives continual support from the trustees, patrons, volunteers and international advisors and consultants.

Study Centre

The IIC is developing a range of educational and academic resources for interfaith studies, ranging from school to postgraduate levels. These are being developed in association with the appropriate educational and university bodies. The IIC also facilitates the research and study of interfaith issues and provides relevant resources, both online and offline.

Recent Developments

The IIC is currently cooperating with appropriate educational bodies to produce teaching materials on interfaith studies, to meet the requirements of Agreed Syllabuses for secondary school pupils in England and Wales.

The IIC is currently developing a new internet-based distance learning course, validated by a UK university, in interfaith studies. The course will be at Post Graduate Certificate level. It will comprise three areas:

  • the historical development of interfaith, including contemporary models of interfaith activity.
  • the implications of theological belief on attitudes to interfaith within the six major religions [Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Sikhism], and the theological/ philosophical reasons for these attitudes.
  • the application of religious belief and practice to both an area of professional employment [for example business, medicine or the law] and ethical issues.
    The course will be appropriate for people who have a general interest in interfaith or people who wish to study for a qualification as part of continuing professional development in their specialist field.

Global Survey

Between 2003 and 2005, the IIC conducted two surveys on people’s perception of, and attitudes towards interfaith dialogue. The second questionnaire, Attitudes Towards Interfaith , was developed in partnership with the Welsh National Centre for Religious Education at the University of Wales , Bangor . The aim of the survey, conducted at the Parliament of the World’s Religions (2004), was to develop further understanding of people’s attitudes towards the nature of religious truth, interfaith activity, and the relationship of personality to faith.

Deposited Papers

Many papers relating to the IIC have been deposited with the Parkes Library at Southampton University, UK.

International Interfaith Organisations Network

To find out more about the IIC’s past and present activities see below;

Letter to Friends : Spring 2008

Letter to Friends : July 2007

Newsletter 20: August 2006

Newsletter 19: March 2004

Newsletter 18: June 2003

Newsletter 17: June 2002

Newsletter 16: December 2001

Newsletter 15: June 2001

Newsletter 14: December 2000

Newsletter 13: July 2000

Newsletter 12: December 1999

Newsletter 11: July 1999

Newletter 10: December 1998

Newsletter 9: July 1998

Newsletter 8: January 1998

Newsletter 7: July 1997

Newsletter 6: January 1997

Newsletter 5: July 1996

Newsletter 4: January 1996