Newsletter — March 2019

Dear friends,

We are currently reflecting on the future of Diamond-ILS, the library management software suite we have been developing since 1999, and of AlKindi, the documentary portal dedicated to classical Arab heritage managed by this software. Since last year, thanks to European funding, the Arab Manuscripts Institute in Cairo has been cataloguing its documents in AlKindi. Diamond is currently the only software perfectly adapted to the classical Arabic culture, either handwritten or printed. Other libraries have asked us to use it, about which we are delighted. However, we will not be able to continue developing this powerful tool alone for much longer, which has consumed our energy to the detriment of fundamental research. Toward which technical and economic model should we direct ourselves, in order to benefit a larger number of institutions? This is the challenge of our current reflection. We thank the Friends of IDEO for their continued and efficient support!

Seminars

On March 5th, Dr. Zeinab Taha, Assistant Professor of Arabic Language at the American University of Cairo, led a seminar session on the topic of “Al-Ǧurǧānī and the beginning of Pragmatics in the Fifth Century Hijri”. Al-Ǧurǧanī (d. 471/1078) is the first grammarian to have focused on the difference between the obvious meaning of words and the author’s intention in its formulation. Click here to read the report….

On March 19th, Mrs. Catarina Belo, Associate professor of philosophy at the American University in Cairo, led a seminar on the topic “Alfarabi’s Views on Prophecy and Prophethood”. The metaphysical and political writings of al-Fārābī (d. 339/950) seek a harmony between philosophy and religion, which can be found in his vision of the philosopher-king and the prophet.

On March 27th, Mr. Aziz Hilal gave the fifth session of his introductory seminar on Arab philosophy. This fifth session was devoted to the book The Refutation of Philosophers (Tahāfut al-falāsifa) by al-Ġazālī (d. 505/1111). Click here to see the details of the next dates…

Conferences

On March 22nd and 23rd, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx participated in the conference “Comprehending Zoological Categories in Societies of the Past” organized by the Egyptian Research Center of the Sorbonne, during which he gave a videoconference entitled “Trouble in the Genus: The Rhinoceros is a Bird! Beginnings of Anthropo-Zoology in Classical Islam”.

On March 25th and 26th, Mr. Dominique Avon participated in the conference “Islamism and Violence: Debates and Issues” organized by the University of Montréal, during which he gave a lecture entitled “Hezbollah, the Syrian Conflict, and Regional Disputes”.

Round table

On March 22nd, Amir Jajé, OP led a round table entitled “Actors and Victims” as part of the conference “France and the Middle East (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon): From Violence to Hope” of which he was a co-organizer, at the Collège of France.

Interview

On March 31st, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx was interviewed by Ghaleb Bencheikh to present his book: The Epistles of the Brothers in Purity. Mathematics and philosophy, as part of the program “Questions d’islam” on the channel France Culture. Click here to listen to the program in French….

Diamond

From March 1st to 5th, we received Mr. Gordon Dunsire, an expert in RDA cataloguing, as part of our reflection on the future of Diamond, the cataloguing software for the AlKindi database, which we have been developing since 1999.

Also, from March 26th to 29th, we received three members of the Friends of IDEO, who came to continue our reflections on the future of Diamond.

Libraries of the Orient

On March 1st and 2nd, we welcomed a team from the National Library of France on a mission to the Middle East to produce a video presentation of the “Libraries of the Orient” website, of which IDEO is a partner.

On March 22nd, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay ,OP and Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP participated in the seminar “Itinerary in the memories and knowledge of the Middle East” organized as part of the “Libraries of the Orient” project.

Study trip

From March 11 to 25th, Jean Druel, OP  completed a study trip to Pakistan to evaluate the possibilities of research on Arabic grammar (i.e. teaching circuits, texts studied, available manuscripts).

From March 25 to 30th, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP accompanied a study trip to Algeria of 90 readers of the newspaper La Croix devoted to the experience of the Church of Algeria in a Muslim context and entitled “Christians in Algeria, a Church of the gathering”.

Visits

On March 4th, we welcomed Mrs. Teresa Indjein, Head of the Department-General for Austria’s International Cultural Policy.

On March 7th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Brigitte Lefebvre-Elsamman, widow of Dr. Ali Elsamman, who was a pioneer in interreligious dialogue, particularly between al-Azhar and the Vatican.

On March 8th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Irfana M. Hashmi, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Whittier College, California, who researches the social history of al-Azhar at the end of Mamluk era.

On March 11th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Ahmed Abu Zayed, the new librarian of the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE).

On March 21st, Adrien Candiard, Op welcomed a group from the National Association of Auditors of the Institute of Advanced Studies of Security and Justice (ANA-INHESJ), as part of their study trip to Egypt.

On March 28th, we received a delegation of the Network of French Schools Abroad, of which the French Institute of Oriental Archeology  (IFAO) is a member and with which we have an increasingly important collaboration: publication of the MIDEO, the “Libraries of the Orient” website, post-PhD fellowship in 2019‒2020.

On March 30th, we welcomed Mr. Leif Stenberg, Director of the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations (IMSC) at Aga Khan University in London, Walid Ghali, Director of the Aga Khan Library, common to both IMSC and the Institute of Ismaili Studies (IIS), and Stéphane Pradines, Professor at IMSC.

Scholars’ House

In March, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Catherine Brial, Mr. Stéphane Chouin and Mr. David-Paul Carr, from the National Library of France, Mrs. Sylvie Nony, researcher in history and philosophy of sciences, and a group of students accompanied by Mrs. Rocio Daga, Professor of Islamology at the University of Munich.

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Newsletter June 2024

May saw the inauguration of the Anawati Chair’s the “Religions and humanities” certificate, under the direction of Aziz Hilal. This innovative course brought together contemporary Muslim thinkers who are re-thinking the theoretical framework of classical theological approaches. We also invited erudite professors who provided a comprehensive overview of the current state of research in the history of religions and social sciences. These works have often been published in European languages, and sometimes, but not systematically, in Arabic. This certificate offers an opportunity to broaden the horizons of Egyptian students from various backgrounds and institutions. After the presentations by the speakers, there followed a sometimes lively, but always respectful and high-quality debate. During the month of June, each participant will write a personnel essay evaluating the relevance of the teachings provided over the course of the four sessions. They must produce a personal critique, demonstrating their ability to adopt a critical distance towards works whose theses or projects may sometimes be tentative, but which merit reflection and challenge certain preconceived ideas. The fight against religious extremism relies on our ability to be challenged by the social sciences. It is in this spirit that we celebrate the success of this certificate program. May it be the cornerstone of our intellectual and educational commitment against the instrumentalization of religions. Anawati Chair Certificate in “Religions and human sciences” The “Religions and human sciences” certificate covers a course based on sociology, anthropology, psychology, history and political science. The course, held in Arabic, took place every Friday in May at the IDEO’s premises. The Chair had the honor to welcome the following speakers: On May 10ᵗʰ, Prof. Mohamed Haddad, a Tunisian thinker and philosopher, gave a lecture on the topic “What does it mean to reform religion?”. On May 17ᵗʰ, Prof. Jabbar al-Refae, an Iraqi thinker, gave a lecture on the topic “Religion versus the new human sciences: For a New Theology”. On May 24ᵗʰ, Prof. Nader Hammami, a Tunisian lecturer, gave a lecture on the topic “Religion between historical discourse and the constants of belief”. On May 31ˢᵗ, Prof. Abdel Gawad Yassin, an Egyptian thinker, gave a lecture on the topic “Constants and variables in the religious system”. Seminar “Salaf in the classical age. Building an authority figure” On May 21ˢᵗ, Adrien Candiard, OP, member of IDEO and specialist in Islamic studies gave the lecture “The authority of silence”, a general conclusion of the seminar. Lectures and talks On May 15ᵗʰ, Jean Jacques Pérennès gave a lecture in Tréguier on the topic “The Spiritual marks of the Monks of Tibhirine (Algeria)”. On May 22ⁿᵈ, Dennis Halft, OP, gave an online lecture on the topic “Discussing the Bible and the Qurʾān: A Hitherto Unknown Missionary’s Work in Persian from Early Modern Times”, during the panel “Mirrors of Truth: Paradigm Shifts in Indo-Persian Missions and Interreligious Polemics’”, Session II, at the European Academy of Religion, in Palermo. On May 22ⁿᵈ, Dennis Halft, OP, gave a lecture on the topic Polemical Works by Jewish Converts to Islam – A Subgenre of Muslim Anti-Jewish Polemical Literature? Some Evidence from Persian Texts”, Lecture at the Research Group “Judæo-Persian and Persian Textual Landscapes: Towards an Intellectual History of Medieval Iranian Jewry”, at Israël Institute for Advanced Studies, in Jerusalem. On May 23ʳᵈ, during the study days “al-ʿaql wa-l-īmān [Reason and faith]”, organized by IDEO and the Franciscan Cultural Center, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a talk entitled “Al ʿaql wa-l-nūr fī fikr al-Imān al-Ġazālī [Reason and light in the thought of Imam al-Ġazālī]”. Additionally, Jean Druel, OP participated in this study days with a talk on “ḥaqīqah masīḥiyya, ḥaqīqah islāmiyya [Muslim truth, Christian truth]”. Among other speakers, Adrien Candiard, OP gave a talk entitled “Ibn Taymiyya wa taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql ”, while Matthieu Palayret, OP gave a talk on “ʿālam al-ṭabīʿa wa ʿālam al-niʿma fī fikr Ṭūmā al-Aquīnī  [The world of nature and the world of grace in the thought of Thomas Aquinas]”. Interreligious study days “CreAction” in Stuttgart From May 3ʳᵈ to 5ᵗʰ, interreligious study days took place for students in Islamic and Christian theology, as well as Jewish studies, on the topic “CreAction: Interreligious approaches for climate Justice” in Stuttgart, Germany. They were organized by Dennis Halft, OP from the Faculty of Theology in Trier, and his colleagues from the Center for Islamic Theology at the University of Münster, the Faculty of Theology at the University of Leipzig, and the Weltethos Foundation. Juries On May 2ⁿᵈ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the jury evaluating the applications for the summer school program entitled “Deepening Arabic language through Islamic heritage sources”, in partnership with the French Institute of Islamic Studies and the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology. Out of the 28 candidates, the jury selected the following applicants: Ms. Chloé Lecomte-Planche, Ms. Raphaëlle Ebran, Ms. Riham Mokrani, Ms. Tamar Kvartskhava, Ms. Yasmine Mohamed Khalil, and Ms. Yesmine Karray. Also selected were Mr. Achraf Et-Taoussi, Mr. Ahmed Taha Gueye, Mr. Baudouin de Cernon, Mr. Cédric Molino-Machetto, Mr. Ismaël Darwish, and Mr. Tom-Younès Oubelkhir. On May 14ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated via video conference in the thesis defense jury of Mr. Hazem al-Rahmany. The thesis was entitled “Between tradition and modernity: Qurʾānic hermeneutics in the works of Fazlur Rahman, Nasr Abu Zayd, and Abdolkarim Soroush”. The jury was made up of Mrs. Olga Lizzini, professor at Aix-Marseille University and thesis director; Mrs. Kalthoum Hamda, associate professor at the University of Paris Nanterre and rapporteur; Mr. Emmanuel Pisani, associate professor at the Catholic Institute of Paris, director of IDEO, and rapporteur; Mr. Youssouf Sangaré, associate professor at INALCO and thesis co-director; Mrs. Meryem Sebti, research director at CNRS Jean Pépin Center UMR 8230 and examiner; and Mr. Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen, professor at the University of Copenhagen and examiner. On May 29ᵗʰ, the jury for the annual Islamic Studies IFI/IDEO/IFAO scholarship met. It was awarded to Ms. Tessa Larivière-Ammari. Scientific Committees On May 14ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the Scientific Committee of the French magazine Proche Orient Chrétien. From May 14ᵗʰ to May 18ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participate

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Newsletter May 2024

Here are some updates about Diamond-ILS, the cataloging application designed by Fr. René-Vincent du Grandlaunay back in the 1990s (initially under the name AlKindi). Thirty years later, the adventure continues! Diamond-ILS is now shared by 11 libraries or research centers, 7 of which are particularly active: IDEO, of course, which uses it for all its resources (monographs, articles, journals, on paper or electronically); the Arab Manuscripts Institute in Cairo, which, thanks to funding from the BnF, is currently cataloging a microfilm collection of manuscripts found in Yemen; the Giorgio La Pira Library in Palermo, which specializes in contemporary Muslim cultures; the Commission Léonine in Paris, for its collection devoted to the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas; the Saint Mark Foundation, which reports to the Coptic-Orthodox patriarchate in Cairo and catalogs various collections of Coptic manuscripts; the Vatican Apostolic Library, for its collection of Arabic manuscripts; and the Saulchoir Library in Paris, specializing in Christian humanities and religious studies. Each library has its own online catalog, but they all contribute to the same repository in a collaborative manner, enabling links to be established between their collections. The LRM/RDA model, which Diamond-ILS implements natively, enables the editorial history of works (different editions and translations, publications, reprints, etc.) to be presented in a single record, as well as the cultural history of works (commentaries, refutations, sequels, etc.). Diamond’s current ambitions are manifold: integrating new types of document (archives, papyri, maps, etc.); to build up a precise, sourced repository of Arabic, Latin and Coptic works and authors; to record the relationships within and between these repositories, in order to draw up a genuine map of knowledge and heritage; to improve the display of increasingly complex data, in order to make it accessible to as many people as possible, without sacrificing its academic quality; to find new partners in cultural fields that complement the current ones (Hebrew, Syriac, Armenian, Ethiopian, Sanskrit, Chinese studies, etc.), in order to extend this cartography. ) in order to extend this mapping and highlight the richness, complexity and interconnection of human knowledge. Diamond-ILS is currently run by the non-profit organization LRM-CS in Paris. Anawati Chair Seminar at al-Azhar Center for French Language Teaching (CEF) On April 17ᵗʰ, Mr. Seniguer Haoues, Lecturer and Director of the Diploma in Contemporary Arab World Studies at Sciences Po Lyon, led a seminar on “How to study Islam in a minority context? The French example”. Lectures and talks On April 19ᵗʰ, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture at the Academy of Human Sciences in Baghdad, introducing a conference on the Iraqi personality. The topic of his talk was “The challenge of becoming a person between the individual and the community”. On April 22ⁿᵈ,  Alberto Ambrosio, OP gave a talk entitled “Clothing in Republican Turkey (1925-1934)”, as part of the seminar on “Aesthetics and Clothing in the Near and Middle East”, organized by Professor Ida Zilio-Grandi, at Ca’ Foscari University (Venice). Seminars On April 24ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led the seminar on the topic “Dirāsat al-Ġazālī ʿalā yad al-mustašriqīn: al-mufāraqa al-makšūfa” [Orientalists’ studies of al-Ġazālī: the paradox revealed], with around forty Indonesian students of al-Azhar organized by the Lingkar Studi Filsafat Girinata center. Teaching From April 15ᵗʰ to 18ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP taught a 24-hour course on “The Great religious traditions” to around 40 students at the Higher Institute of Religious Sciences. (ISSR) of the Catholic Institute of Toulouse. From April 16th to 26th, Adrien Candiard, OP, gave his annual course in Islamic theology at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome. At the end of April 2024, Jean Druel, OP, taught a total of 40 hours of Biblical Greek, for beginners and intermediate students, as part of the Master of Theology program at the Sakakini Catholic Institute of Religious Sciences in Cairo. Radio On April 21ˢᵗ, Dominique Avon was interviewed for a program on freedom of conscience on Radio France Visits On April 10th, we had the honor of receiving a visit from the Delegation of the Conference of Bishops of France, composed of: Mᵍʳ Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, Archbishop of Reims, President of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF); Mᵍʳ Laurent Ulrich, Archbishop of Paris; Mᵍʳ Matthieu Rougé, Bishop of Nanterre; Father Hugues de Woillemont, General Secretary of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF); Mrs. Céline Reynaud-Fourton, Director of International Affairs. We also had the pleasure of welcoming members of the French Catholic association Œuvre d’Orient, including: Mᵍʳ Pascal Gollnisch; Mrs. Armelle Milcent, Director of Communications; Mr. Bertrand de Margerie, Mission Officer for Egypt; Mr. Michel Petit de La Perrelle; and Mrs. Isabelle Karaiskos, Journalist at KTO. Scholars’ House  During the month of April, we had the pleasure of welcoming to the Scholars’ House Mr. Sami Benkherfallah, a professor in medieval history at the University of Poitiers and beneficiary of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarship.

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Newsletter April 2024

Rawan Anani, Larmes de Gaza 2023 For the past six months, Gaza has witnessed the most odious and horrific scenes of its history. How does one describe the indescribable? How does one uncover and bring to light injustice, even in its most hidden obscurities? How does one escape from the paralyzing voyeurism of horrendous images or from the meaningless statements?  The statistics about the number of victims killed and injured, repeated by the media to shock the audience, are indeed horrifying. But what is also intolerable is the injustice and inhumanity that causes people to starve day after day, to search desperately for unsanitary water, from a drop of water to quench their unquenchable thirst, for electricity to recharge a telephone which can still penetrate the outside world. We must go beyond the tragic statistics and examine the injustices suffered on a daily basis by those living in Gaza, ranging from the sleepless nights, the desperate prayers that struggle to be expressed amidst a deep hunger, their walks through ruined streets, the clothes stained with the blood of innocents reeking of the acrid sulfur smell of weapons. This year, the fasts of Ramadan and Lent are terribly trying and severe. The holidays of Eid al-Fiṭr and Easter will carry the bitter taste of the injustice that is taking place just steps away from Egypt. Conferences Jean Druel, OP gave a talk at the conference “On the Phenomena of Agreement in Arabic” held in Paris on February 29ᵗʰ and March 1ˢᵗ by Cermom, Sorbonne University, and Inalco. His talk was entitled: “Ḥawāshī and the Transmission of Sībawayh’s Kitāb: How Commentary Traditions Arise and Die in the Margins”. Lectures and talks On March 5ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture at the Grand Orient de France on the topic of “Ethics of Dialogue”. On March 9ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a training course at the Center for the Intelligence of Faith in Paris on the topic of “The Fatiha, Key to Islamic Doxa and Praxis”. On March 13ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP was invited to the seminar at the Institute of Eastern Christians. He gave a talk on the topic of “The IDEO and Islamic-Christian Dialogue”. On March 13ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Horizons of Human Fraternity” at the Marist Cultural and Spiritual Center in Toulon. On March 14ᵗʰ, as part of the continuous training day for Catholic education of the Diocese of Var, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave the following talk in Ollioules: “Monks and Monasticism: Islamic Perspectives”. On March 15ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave two talks on “Keys to the Middle East” at Saint Joseph High School in Ollioules, for the final year classes. On March 21ˢᵗ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Allahu Akbar: History and Meaning of a Theological Formula” at IDEO in in collaboration with French-speaking association Caire Accueil. On March 21ˢᵗ and 22ⁿᵈ, Alberto Ambrosio, OP, participated in the conference “Women and Religions in the Mediterranean” held at the French Institute – Saint-Louis Center. During this conference, he moderated the session entitled “Women and Feminisms Facing Sacred Texts”. Please refer to the program for more details (in French) … Anawati Chair Seminar “Salaf in the classical age. Building an authority figure” On March 26ᵗʰ, Mr. Matthieu Terrier, a professor at the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), gave the following lecture at IDEO: “The Primitive Community in Early Shiite Sources”. Postdoctoral scholarship jury On March 28ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, director of IDEO, Professor Aziz Hilal, a member of IDEO, and Mr. Mourad al-Riffi, director of the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts, reviewed the 43 applications received for the selection of post-PhD scholarships on critical editions of Islamic heritage texts (each lasting 18 months). The results will be announced publicly during the month of April. Seminar at al-Azhar Center for French Language Teaching (CEF) On March 20ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a seminar session at al-Azhar Center for French Language Teaching (CEF) on the topic “The Congress on Human Fraternity: Issues and Perspectives”. Islamic Studies Scholarships Pre-doctoral or doctoral scholarship for 10 months (2024-2025) The French Institute of Islamic Studies (IFI), the French Institute of Oriental Archaeology (IFAO), and the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies (IDEO) are collaborating to fund a pre-doctoral or doctoral scholarship for 10 months, from September 1ˢᵗ, 2024, to June 30ᵗʰ, 2025. Deadline for application: April 30ᵗʰ, 2024. For more information… Summer School: Learning Arabic through Islamic Heritage Texts The IFI, IDEO, and IFAO offer a Summer School from July 15ᵗʰ to 28ᵗʰ dedicated to the study of Islamic tradition texts in Arabic for students in Islamic studies or affiliated fields, currently enrolled in a master’s or PhD program at a European university or institute. Deadline for application: April 15ᵗʰ, 2024. For more information (in French)… Visits On March 29ᵗʰ, we welcomed two Franciscan brothers: brother Milad Shehata, director of the Franciscan Cultural Center downtown, and brother William Abdelmeseh, director of the Franciscan School in Assiut. Scholars’ House During the month of March, we had the pleasure of welcoming to the Scholars’ House Mrs. Rocio Daga, Professor of Religious Studies at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, accompanied by a group of three students, as well as Ms. Ivana Kvetanova, an archaeologist and historian graduated from the Pontifical Gregorian University and the Pontifical Institute of Christian Archaeology. Publications Dominique Avon, « L’islamologie pour la période contemporaine. Héritages et enjeux en contexte français », dans Mohammad-Ali Amir-Moezzi, L’islam et l’examen scientifique. Une quête renouvelée, Paris, Cerf, « La Bibliothèque de l’IFI », 2024, p. 107-133. Emmanuel Pisani (dir.), Théologie musulmane du pluralisme religieux, avec la collaboration de Cédric Baylocq, Paris, Cerf, 2024. Emmanuel Pisani, « ‘Si Dieu l’avait voulu, il aurait fait de vous une seule communauté’ (S. 5, 48). Pluralisme contemporain et tafāsirs classiques », dans Emmanuel Pisani (dir.), Théologies musulmanes du pluralisme religieux, Paris, Cerf, 2024, p. 21-49. Emmanuel Pisani, recension de l’ouvrage : « Lejla Demirli, Mujadad Zaman, Tim Winter, Christoph Schwöbel, Alexei Bodrov (eds.), Theological Anthropology in Interreligious Perspective, Sapientia Islamica 5, Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen 2022, 267 p. », Islamochristiana, 2023, p. 447-450. Emmanuel Pisani, « Le document sur la fraternité humaine, une

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