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Dear friends, from Egypt or overseas,
If one is to trust the posters on the fence of the priory, we successively supported al-Ṣabbāḥi, Abū al-Futūḥ, and al-ʿAwwā in the run for presidency ! Today, before the runoff, the country is divided into three groups: those who support Mursī, those who support Shafīq, and those who refuse to choose between political Islam and the army. As for the IDEO, our activities go on peacefully with this electoral frenzy as background.
News from the library
Brother Rémi Chéno is to join the IDEO’s researchers team in September. He spent a few days in Cairo in May, in order to bring personal stuff and to see for himself the ongoing activities. He already gave a technical hand to AlKindi v.4, the library management software suite on which we are currently working. He also enrolled the IDEO for free to JSTOR and Cairn (more information on the website).
We are glad to announce that the IDEO’s library now holds the complete collection of the Proceedings for the seminar of Arabian studies (Oxford: Archaeopress), from vol. 1-3 (1971-1973) to vol. 41 (2011). This collection publishes the proceedings of an annual seminar devoted to archeology, epigraphy, numismatics, ethnography, language, history, art, and architecture of the Arabian Peninsula, from the earlier times until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1922.
Seminars and lectures
On May 3, brother René-Vincent du Grandlaunay took part in a conference entitled "Rethinking the history of families in Medieval Islam", organised by Julien Loiseau at the university of Montpellier III "Paul-Valéry". He presented his research on the autobiography of Shams al-Dīn al-Sakhāwī (d. 1497). In this still unedited work, Sakhāwī devotes a chapter to his family, which gives us a more precise idea on his milieu, his personality and his intellectual life.
On May 8, Mr. Īhāb Nabīl Rifāʿī, a PhD student in history at ʿAyn Shams University took part in the IDEO’s seminar. He presented the methodological presuppostions of his research on the conficts between juridical schools in the Islamic Mashreq in the 3rd/9h century. He purposely adopts a materialistic (marxistic) approach to history, which is still very doubtful today in the Arab World, where theological criteria claim to explain everything.
On May 20, on the occasion of the tribute evening to Rev. Michael Fitzgerald, Mrs Jane McAuliffe gave a lecture entitled "The Encyclopedia of the Qurʾān in the context of the current state of Qurʾānic studies". Click here for a detailed account of this lecture and a photo album.
Scientific activities of IDEO’s member
On May 14, we held the third workshop on AlKindi v.4, our cataloging software suite, a project led by brother René-Vincent du Grandlaunay the library’s director. We validated a few modifications that we wish to introduce to the RDA standards. The programming company Spyrit, which is currently working on this new version, sent us the first productions. They should deliver the whole program during the month of July.
On May 24, brother Dennis Halft gave a lecture at Tel Aviv Uuniversity, which organised a conference on "The Bible in Arabic among Jews, Christians and Muslims". In his talk, he questions J. Corbin’s assertion that the shīʿah polemist Sayyed Aḥmad ʿAlavī (d. ca 1650) had an excellent knowledge of Hebrew and connections with rabbis. Dennis proves that his quotations of the Bible are not firsthand and that his controversy follows a Classical pattern.
Publications of IDEO’s members
The Festschrift volume co-edited by brother Jean-Jacques Pérennès and Mrs Catarina Belo, professor of Islamic philosophy at the American University in Cairo, was offered to Rev. Michael Fitzgerald. This volume of 244 pages is the fifth volume in the series Les Cahiers du Midéo, it is entitled Mission in dialogue. After a biography and a detailed bibliography of Rev. Fiztgerald (300 entries), this volume gathers 17 articles in English and in French, under three themes: Theology of religions, experiences of dialogue, and Islam-Christian relationships. This volume is distributed by Peeters.
Brother Jean-Jacques Pérennès also published a biography of Father Antonin Jaussen who, among other activities in the Middle East, built the priory in Cairo: Pérennès, Jean-Jacques (2012). Le père Antonin Jaussen, o.p. (1871-1962), Une passion pour l’Orient musulman. Préface par Henry Laurens, professeur au Collège de France. Paris: Le Cerf. 144 pages.
brother Jean Druel
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