Is This the Other Within Me? The Varied Effects of Engaging in Interfaith Learning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interfaith education appears to have a strong potential for prejudice reduction and for overcoming Islamophobia and antisemitism. Common in-group identity theory contends that awareness of interreligious similarities would reduce intergroup streotypes and anxiety. However, optimal distinctiveness theory assumes that pointing to similarities would actually pose an identity threat to learners, especially members of a minority. Jewish and Muslim Israeli adolescents who studied about similarities and inter religious influences between Islam and Judaism showed varied and contradictory reactions. Jewish students decreased prejudice while Muslim students slightly increased them. Findings are discussed in light of above theories, and point to educational implications.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)245-254
Number of pages10
JournalReligious Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 26 May 2020


  • Interfaith education
  • Jews
  • Muslims
  • common in-group identity theory
  • optimal distinctiveness theory
  • prejudice reduction

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education
  • Religious studies


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