The Institute of Ismaili Studies held its second residential Summer Programme on Islam from August 9 - August 16, 2003 at Lucy Cavendish College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. Thirty-three participants from ten countries with diverse academic and professional backgrounds attended the 2003 session.
The seminars, presented and facilitated by lecturers from the Universities of Harvard, Edinburgh and Washington along with faculty members from The Institute of Ismaili Studies and the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilisations of the Aga Khan University, included: ‘What is Islam? Who is a Muslim?’, ‘Key Moments and Critical Junctures in Ismaili History’, ‘Art and Architecture in Muslim Societies’ and ‘Islam and the Role of Media’.
The aims of the Summer Programme included: providing a social, cultural and civilisational introduction to Islam; engendering an understanding of Ismailism within the larger context of the intellectual and historical development of Islam; as well as providing a forum to raise questions, stimulate reflection and encourage discussion on important contemporary issues and themes in Islam and its Ismaili tariqa. Particular attention was given throughout the Programme to include source material and intellectual perspectives from areas which often receive relatively little attention within the study of Islam, including Shi‘ism.
The 2003 programme was the second Summer Programme on Islam conducted by the IIS. The first was held for undergraduate university students from July 21 - August 3, 2002 at Emory University, Atlanta, USA. This year’s programme, aimed at postgraduate students, professionals and entrepreneurs, was attended by participants ranging from 24 to 61 years in age.