‘Increasing Support for Postgraduates’
An Interview with Anna Sapir Abulafia
Director of Graduate Studies, Professor of the Study of Abrahamic Religions
by Olga Puzanova
Anna Sapir Abulafia, who took over as Director of Graduate Studies at the Faculty earlier this year, shares her thoughts about the Faculty and its diverse graduate programmes and explains how graduate students can make the most of the vibrant research community at the Faculty.
Is it all mainly Christian theology?
Not at all. I am the Chair of the Study of the Abrahamic Religions, that encompasses Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, but we also have a lot of people coming here to do Buddhism and Hinduism. So, it isn’t at all exclusively Christian, and I think it’s very important that the Faculty is changing and developing in this direction. What I am particularly interested in and trying to promote, is the study of the interaction between different religions and traditions. In my view, the dialogical encounter between religions offers you a chance to look at how they relate to one another, which is a fantastic way to learn more about any particular religious tradition. There is also a growing trend within the Faculty, as well as across Faculties, of looking at different methodologies in studying both theology and religion—through anthropological or sociological methods, or through literature. There are all kinds of different ways that people are approaching this. Christianity obviously is still very much present, and there is no reason why it shouldn’t be, but our Faculty is much broader than that. That is something we are trying to emphasise on our website as well, to draw students in. I have to say, looking at the number of graduate applications we get for different aspects of the Study of Religions, that message is getting through.