Hugh Goddard

Honorary Professorial Fellow in the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Centre for the Study of Islam in the Contemporary World


Professor Goddard was an undergraduate in Oxford, where he studied Islamic History under Albert Hourani, and then took his doctorate from the Centre for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations in Birmingham, where his supervisor was David Kerr.

He has worked and studied in the Middle East, in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, and has also undertaken a number of research visits to other regions of the Islamic World, including Pakistan, India, Nigeria, Malaysia, Indonesia and Central Asia.

Prior to moving to Edinburgh he worked in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies in the University of Nottingham, where he served as Professor of Christian-Muslim Relations from 2004.

He is the author of Christians and Muslims: From Double Standards to Mutual Understanding (London: Curzon, 1995), Muslim Perceptions of Christianity (London: Grey Seal, 1996), and A History of Christian-Muslim Relations (Edinburgh University Press and Chicago: New Amsterdam, 2000), as well as many articles on different aspects of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations.

Knowledge exchange

Breaking Barriers (November 2011 – present)

Based on Goddard’s research on the historical and contemporary collaborations and disputes between Christians and Muslims, the inaugural Breaking Barriers conference brought together 22 young Christians and Muslims for a weekend of lectures, discussions, and workshops exploring different aspects of Christian-Muslim relations, and mutual misperceptions. Goddard led 3 sessions, and in the weekend as a whole there was a detailed focus on the study of the Bible and the Qur’an as the scriptural foundations of the two traditions.

On the basis of the inaugural conference, there was an ongoing series of bimonthly meetings to allow group members to investigate different themes in the scriptures of the two traditions, and these addressed the real ignorance which members of each community had of the scripture of the other.

Given the mobility of the group, particularly its international student members, a follow-up day conference was held in November 2013, in order to re-invigorate the group, and a group of 16 young Christians and Muslims, from different parts of Scotland and the wider UK will once again be pursuing an ongoing programme of mutual scriptural investigation.The group has an active Facebook page, and members interact with each other on a regular basis through this format.

View all 22 publications on Research Explorer