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.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The author wishes to thank Nura Abd-elHaj, Maisa Khalife, Orna Atar, Sharon Cohen, Hamutal Elbaz, Ofer Elkobi, Erez Hacker, Yael Ohad-Karni, Revital Pupal, Batel Sassi and Michal Saham.
© 2020, © 2020 The Religious Education Association.
- Interfaith education
- common in-group identity theory
- optimal distinctiveness theory
- prejudice reduction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies