The Scriptural Reasoning Society

"Better Quality Disagreement"

Registered Charity: 1130605

Shalom Aleichem - As-Salamu Alaykum - Peace be with You

Welcome to the website of the Scriptural Reasoning Society ("The Oxford School"), a diverse network of local Scriptural Reasoning groups in universities, religious seminaries and synagogues, churches, temples and mosques, dedicated to Scriptural Reasoning - the shared reading by Jews, Christians, Muslims and others of their sacred scriptures.

Through this practice of Scriptural Reasoning (SR), and reading our sacred texts in community, we seek to understand and respect each other's important differences of belief. Unlike some other kinds of interfaith dialogue, we aim not to pretend a consensus between our often divergent religious teachings and practices, but rather we seek to understand our disagreements more deeply through scripture study - and build friendships out of that better quality disagreement. Please see our founding Community Ethic - the Oxford Ethic and the Scriptural Reasoning Bill of Rights - the Scriptural Reasoning Covenant, by which all our member Scriptural Reasoning groups in Oxford School SR are officially bound.

In addition, in order to support the participation of our Orthodox Jewish members, we seek advice on matters of Jewish halakha from our Rabbinical Council and other rabbinical authorities. Our Imams Council similarly provides guidance for the benefit of our Muslim members, while in 2007, independent senior Islamic authorities at the Shari'a Court of the London Central Mosque officially issued a fatwa uniquely sanctioning the participation by Muslims in Oxford School Scriptural Reasoning (document in Arabic and English).

As the largest Scriptural Reasoning organisation in Britain, part of our founding history - and that of the Reformation of Scriptural Reasoning - is our commitment to safeguarding SR as a free, democratic and egalitarian practice, which maintains scrupulous parity between all participating faiths and traditions in SR at all times, and in all respects. We also read our sacred texts for the sake of God alone, never instrumentalised or commodified as part of any government or other agenda of interference in faith communities - three scriptures on the table, no agendas under the table.

Scriptural Reasoning is at heart an anti-establishment practice of people reading in equality and freedom, to which all are welcome without exclusion, and in which all uphold principles of freedom of speech and aren't afraid to disagree with one another's beliefs - or to criticise other Scriptural Reasoning practitioners. So we will not allow oversight of our free practice through any "Scriptural Reasoning Reference Group", nor will we accept "asymmetries of hospitality" enabling a single denomination of a single faith to exert political and financial control over multi-faith, multi-denominational SR groups. Please read our Community Ethic and Scriptural Reasoning Covenant for more details.

Scriptural Reasoning is a registered charity and a project of the Scriptures in Dialogue Academic Collaboration.

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Scriptural Reasoning is Registered Charity 1130605 and our work is wholly funded by donations from ordinary women and men, and ethically-screened grants. Please support the vital activity of building trust and friendship between people of faiths by clicking on the icon below:

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