Newsletter December-January 2023

Adrien Candiard, OP in front of a distinguished jury, defended last December his PhD thesis under the direction of Christian Jambet at the École pratique des hautes études (EPHE). The topic was highly scholarly and not without consonance with the Dominican motto: “The Concept of Truth in Ibn Taymiyya’s Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql. Six years ago, when he decided to reconsider the thought of shayḫ al-islām, our elders had formerly warned him: Ibn Taymiyya is a difficult author, with repetitive and digressive writing, certainly prodigious but with a roundabout style whose words roll up on themselves with obstinacy like the Convolvulaceae and forbid to reduce the writings to a clear and unified system. Moreover, he never ceases to argue with the brilliant minds who preceded him and who are not him: all of Avicenna, al-Ǧuwaynī, al-Ġazālī, Faḫr al-Dīn al-Rāzī… come under the ax of his pen, even as he appropriates some of their arguments, with great audacity, no need to mention it. In short, he is a writer for the end of an academic career! But our young researcher, a bit of a go-getter and unafraid of taking some new challenges, has nevertheless invested in it. The result was of high quality and the jury unanimously highlighted the quality and excellence of a work that will be published this year. Another reason for us to rejoice.


On December 7ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, Mateus Domingues da Silva, OP and Ms. Engy Elgammal, cataloging director at the IDEO’s library, were interviewed by the YouTube channel “Minbar Wasel” as part of a reportage on the IDEO and its library.


On December 2ⁿᵈ, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Daniel Hoffman, from the NGO Middle East Concern, which defends the religious freedom of Christians in the Middle East.

On December 14ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Yasmin Amin, representative of the Beirut Institute in Cairo.

On December 15ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Hanan Sabea, professor of anthropology at the American University in Cairo, who accompanied a group of Egyptian NewGen scholars. The Arab Council for Social Sciences offers scholarships to young students of all disciplines, the New Generation of Social Scientists, and organizes for them trainings in human sciences.

On December 17ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Hanan Mounib, director of Meshkaty International, as well as Mr. Magid Mostafa, professor at Ayn Shams University. 

On December 21ˢᵗ, we welcomed Mr. Mourad al-Riffi, director of the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts, and Mr. Abdelazim Sakr, head of cataloging.

On December 23ʳᵈ, we welcomed for lunch Ms. Salwa el-Awa, from Swansea University in Wales. She is writing an article on the role of the IDEO in Qurʾānic studies.

Scholars’ House

During the month of December, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholar’s House Mr. Giulio Conticelli, emeritus researcher at the University of Florence, Italy, and member of the Giorgio La Pira foundation in Florence; Mr. Sami Benkherfallah, PhD student in medieval history at the University of Poitiers; Mr. Matthew Crippen, researcher at the Pusan National University, Korea, and at the “Mind and Brain” school at the Humboldt University of Berlin and student of theology at the University of Toronto; Ms. Antoinette Ferrand, PhD student in the history of contemporary Egypt at the Sorbonne University and new editorial secretary of the MIDEO.

Upcoming activities

As part of the IDEO’s seminar on the salaf in the Classical Age, Adrien Candiard, OP will present on Wednesday January 18ᵗʰ the topic “Early ḥanbalites, supporters of the salaf”. 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 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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