Newsletter February-March 2023

At the end of February, we welcomed eleven researchers from Europe, Lebanon and Canada, representing their research laboratories on Islam and members of the board of PLURIEL. They came to prepare for the conference to be held in Abu Dhabi in 2024, and which will evaluate the political and theological repercussions and the reception the Document on human fraternity (Waṯīqat al-uḫuwwa al-insāniyya) signed by Aḥmad al-Ṭayyib and Pope Francis in 2019. Whatever we think and say about this text, the issues and challenges it brings are very real for today’s thinkers. For example, if secularization began in the West, it is now spreading in the East. How were Western ideas transmitted? Is it a form of latent supremacy that decolonial studies tend to demonstrate or is it simply the expression of a global and deep societal process linked to modernity and characterized by the advent of the autonomous subject, and that spares no part of the world? As for this distinction between the West and the East, is it as fair and operative as it is said to be, especially when it takes dual accents which aim at opposing one space against the other, men against others? In any case, seen from Egypt, the hypothesis of a conflict of civilizations whose outcome will be that of the triumph of one civilization over another, is rooted in the minds of certain religious dignitaries, whether Muslim or Christian. The topic of human brotherhood can therefore not be forgotten and its acuity represents a line of research to invest.

Lectures and talks

On February 2ⁿᵈ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture on “Medieval Dominican and Franciscan figures in the land of Islam”, as part of a the formation day of the Catholic schools network of the diocese of Toulon.

On February 17ᵗʰ, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP, IDEO’s member and director of the French School for Biblical and Archaeological Studies in Jerusalem (EBAF), gave a talk entitled “Father Roland de Vaux, digger of the Bible”, at the Académie des inscriptions et belles-lettres, in Paris.

On February 25ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture at the Coptic-Catholic parish of al-Sharabiyya on Jesus in the Qurʾān.

Research seminar

On February 20ᵗʰ, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx led a research seminar on the sciences of religions entitled “Codicology, philology, philosophy: where to start? Methodological thinking from the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity”, at the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE).

Jury thesis

On February 6ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the jury for the thesis defended by Paolo Tovo at the Centre Sèvres on the topic of “Meeting the other believer, a sign to be deciphered by theology. A reading of the writings of Christian de Chergé”. Jury members were Fr. Michel Fédou, head of the jury, and sisters Geneviève Comeau, thesis supervisor and Sylvie Robert.

Scholarship IFAO/IDEO

The French Institute for Oriental Archeology (IFAO) and the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies (IDEO) are partnering to fund a 10-month pre-doctoral or doctoral scholarship from September 1ˢᵗ 2023 to June 30ᵗʰ, 2024. This scholarship includes accommodation at IDEO and two hours of private Arabic classes per day, five days a week, during this period. For more information…


On February 9ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Sofiane Alsaar, from the Cairo office of the AFP.

On February 21ˢᵗ, we welcomed Mr. Marek Woźniak, prefect of the Wielkopolskie Region and Mr. Maciej Zajdel, second secretary at the Polish Embassy in Egypt.

From February 22ⁿᵈ to 26ᵗʰ, we received the board of PLURIEL made up of Mrs. Roula Talhouk, Mrs. Michaela Quast Neulinger and Mr. Jaime Flaquer, Mr. Michel Younes, Mr. Wael Saleh, Mr. Dirk Martin Ansorge, Fr. Laurent Basanese, Mr. Alessandro Ferrari, Fr. Diego Sarrio Cucarella and M. Mohamed-Ali Mostafa, in order to prepare the Abu Dhabi Conference of February 2024 on human fraternity and to evaluate the 80 or so papers that were sent.

The IDEO in the medias

Enquête exclusive (M6) devoted a reportage on Egypt during which the journalist Bernard de la Villardière met the friars of Cairo. After a succession of reports with dark overtones, the program ends with a 7-minute sequence dedicated to our Institute. It begins with these words: “Today, religious affiliation is still mentioned on the identity card of Egyptians and this divides society in two, but there is a unique place in Cairo where Christian and Muslim cultures meet in a spirit of brotherhood: the IDEO, an oasis of peace, located in the heart of an Islamic and popular district, directed by the Frenchman Emmanuel Pisani.”

On February 24ᵗʰ, al-Ahram newspaper devoted an article to the meeting of Emmanuel Pisani, OP and the board of PLURIEL with the Great Imam, Aḥmad al-Ṭayyib.

Framework agreement

On February 13ᵗʰ, Mr. Rafał Witkowski, vice-rector for international cooperation, Mr. Filip Jakubowski, director of the department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, signed a memento of understanding with the director of IDEO in order to encourage, in particular, the arrival and support of researchers from the University at the IDEO.

Scholars’ House

During the month of February, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholar’s House Mr. Ilyass Amharar, post-PhD researcher at the Jacques Berque Center in Rabat; Mr. Frédéric de Dinechin, on a study visit to deepen his knowledge of literary Arabic; Mr. Francesco Antonini, master student in Medieval Philosophy at the University of Paris-Sorbonne under the supervision of Marwan Rashed and student at DEAC (Department for Teaching Contemporary Arabic) in Cairo.

Upcoming activities

As part of the IDEO’s seminar on the Salaf in the Classical Age, Adrien Candiard, OP will present on Wednesday March 15ᵗʰ the topic “The Salaf in the writings of the doxographers (al-Šahrastānī, Ibn Ḥazm)”. The seminar will take place in the seminar room at 5:00 p.m. Click here to download the program of this series of seminars…

On March 15, Jean Druel, OP is organizing a study day in Paris, led by Mr. Gordon Dunsire, on the cataloguing of analog and digital archives according to the IFLA-LRM/RDA model. You can register by writing to him at

On March 30ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP will give a lecture entitled “The Arabic language, language of God, language of men”. This conference will take place at the IDEO in partnership with the French-speaking association Caire Accueil.


On the 15ᵗʰ of June, the general assembly of the association Friends of IDEO took place. Much more than a mere administrative formality, it represented

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