duke students at RPLI summer school

Cultural Heritage in a Diverse Europe

The International Network for Interreligious Research and Education (INIRE) hosted its 3rd annual conference last week at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands. Founded at a 2017 Kenan conference, INIRE is a worldwide network of scholars from different disciplines and fields, built upon the cooperation of Duke University, Bar Ilan University, Leipzig University, University of Groningen, University of Southampton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University. Its goals include:

  1. Studying from an interdisciplinary and inter-religious perspective, various, past and present religious issues.
  2. Promoting inter-religious knowledge among undergraduate and graduate students
  3. Implementing our research in contemporary social issues
  4. Encouraging inter-religious dialogue among scholars, students and the public

INIRE’s annual summer schools and conferences are also supported by the Duke Center for Jewish Studies, the Franklin Humanities Institute, the Office of Global Affairs/Andrew W. Mellon Endowment for Global Studies, and was joined this year by the University of Groningen and several Dutch heritage foundations.

Duke faculty Malachi Hacohen, Director of Religions and Public Life at the Kenan Institute for Ethics, Abdullah Antepli, Chief Representative of Muslim Affairs at Duke, and eight graduate and undergraduate Duke students, participated in this week-long Summer School and Conference on the subject of Cultural Heritage in a Diverse Europe.  Panels, seminars and lectures focused on the preservation of diverse religious heritage and the opportunities they provide for understanding and dialogue across communities. Of note, Imam Abdullah Antepli gave an inspiring keynote on ‘Secular and Religion Heritage: The Sanctity of Preservation.’

As we struggle against nationalist extremism and religious hatred, it is crucial that we intervene to preserve traditions of religious tolerance and rescue the heritage that can binds us together. I can think of no nobler mission for the Religions and Public Life Initiative at the Kenan Institute. 

– Malachi Hacohen

Groningen University

abdullah presenting


The Religions and Public Life initiative at the Kenan Institute for Ethics examines the role of religions in history and culture, exploring their interaction across time and geography, as they shape private and public life.