The Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies
The Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) was established in 1994 in Amman, Jordan, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince El Hassan bin Talal. RIIFS is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that provides a venue for the interdisciplinary study of intercultural and interreligious issues with the aim of defusing tensions and promoting peace, regionally and globally.
We live in a troubled world that is in need of deeper mutual understanding between diverse religions and cultures. RIIFS focuses on promoting common human and ethical values that contribute to strengthening cooperation and interfaith relations, eliminating mutual misconceptions about the ‘other’ and ultimately expanding these shared commonalities in the hope of promoting peaceful coexistence.
Since its inception in 1994, RIIFS has evolved from a centre for the study of Muslim-Christian relations in the Arab world to an interdisciplinary institution, covering all fields of the humanities and social sciences that deal with cultural and civilizational interaction.
RIIFS is governed by a Board of Trustees, chaired by HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, an internationally renowned advocate of interfaith dialogue since the 1970s. The RIIFS Director is Dr. Majeda Omar.
The work of RIIFS involves research and publication, as well as the organization of events, such as conferences, workshops and lectures.
In October 2012, RIIFS embarked on a two-year project entitled “Promotion of the Amman Message” during which RIIFS will be conducting a large number of activities, locally, regionally and internationally, with the aim of promoting the ‘Amman Message’ through research, conferences and symposia, training programs and publication.
RIIFS has been the Head of the Jordanian Network of the Anna Lindh Foundation for the Dialogue Between Cultures (ALF) since 2011. As the National Head of Network, RIIFS engages civil society network members in organizing activities within the framework of ALF’s 4D strategy: Dialogue, Democracy, Development and Diversity.
The RIIFS Arabic Publications Program focuses on the study and documentation of all subjects pertaining to Christianity and Muslim-Christian relations. Its biannual academic journal, Muqābasāt Hadāriya, features essays and articles in Arabic that focus on religious, cultural and civilizational issues. The RIIFS online publication, Al-Nashra, provides a forum for the discussion of interfaith issues, particularly as they relate to Arab and Islamic societies.
The RIIFS English Publications Program addresses questions relating to religious and cultural diversity in the world at large. Its annual publication, the Bulletin of the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (BRIIFS), is an academic journal refereed by internationally known scholars. BRIIFS is intended to provide a venue for interdisciplinary academic inquiry into all fields of the humanities and social sciences that bear on cultural or civilizational interaction and to situate culture contact in a global context.
RIIFS further invites scholars, on a selective basis, from Arab countries and abroad, as visiting research associates, to involve them in the work of the institute.
- To foster interreligious and intercultural dialogue as an effective tool for countering intolerance, extremism and radicalism and for forging a culture of mutual respect and understanding.
- To encourage regional networking on religious and cultural issues through effective communications and interaction within academic and religious environments.
- To build sustained, engaged communities and regional and international partnerships among specialists including professionals and religious leaders.
- To foster socially resilient and anti-radicalized environments.
Achieving RIIFS mission
The following activities lead to achieving our principal mission of fostering dialogue and developing a well-informed network of influence in the region:
• Organizing foundational seminars, primarily in Jordan.
• Establishing partnerships with institutes and religious organizations such as Al-Azhar Al-Sharif (Egypt), Adyan Foundation (Lebanon), Mohammadia Association of scholars (Morocco), Danmission of Denmark, the ministry of Awqaf and religious Affairs (Barhain), and The Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue (Vatican). Also, RIIFS heads the Jordanian Network of Anna Lindh Foundation.
• Reaching a larger audience of thinkers and academics and adding depth via a strong programme of local, regional and international engagement activities.
• Sustaining interest and promoting growth through outreach activities to different communities including:
- Islamic clergy and faith leaders (Imams preachers, and women preachers).
- School communities (teachers and pupils).
- University communities (students and lecturers).
- Wider grassroots communities (members and leaders).
- Writers and Journalists.