Newsletter — May 2019

Dear friends,

from May 1 to 5th, DoSt-İ, the Dominican Study Institute in Istanbul, directed by Claudio Monge, OP organized an international conference devoted to holiness in Islam and in Christianity (see photo). Dominicans have been present in Turkey since the 13th century, serving mainly the Eastern Catholic Christian communities. For several years, they have been working on the development of an intercultural and interreligious program, in dialogue with the Turkish society at an academic level. Our common vision will certainly give us the opportunity to work together in the coming years.

Conferences

From May 1 to 5th, Claudio Monge, OP and Luca Refatti, OP organized a seminar in Istanbul devoted to holiness as a threshold between the divine and the human. Discussions between Christian and Muslim participants showed that holiness is a dynamic category that involves both separation and presence, and is not limited to the religious sphere. Emmanuel Pisani, OP and Sunil Tirkey, OP also participated in this seminar.

From May 11 to 31st, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx organized an exhibition entitled “Paper Identities” in Beit Beirut. During this exhibition, he organized on May 20th a conference under the same title, during which he made a presentation entitled “Identity logic and the death of philosophy”.

Lectures

On May 2nd and 3rd, Emilio Platti, OP gave a lecture entitled “From Graf to Griffith: The Classical Work of Arab Christians” during the conference “The Philosophical School of Baghdad in the 10th and 11th Centuries”, organized by Saint Joseph University and the American University of Beirut.

On May 10th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “What is dialogue for Maurice Borrmans?”, during a study day entitled “Maurice Borrmans, a figure of Islamic-Christian dialogue” organized by the Centre for Studies of Cultures and Religions at the Catholic University of Lyon.

From May 11 to 19th, Adrien Candiard, OP gave a series of lectures in northern Italy on his book Understanding Islam, or rather: Why we understand nothing (Flammarion, 2016) and on the play Pierre et Mohamed (Tallandier, 2018), on the occasion of the translation into Italian of the two books (EMI, 2019).

On May 13th, Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen gave a lecture in Paris on her book Voyage en Haute-Égypte : Prêtres, coptes et catholiques (CNRS Éditions, 2019). Click here to listen to the lecture… (in French).

On May 18th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Dialogue with Islam: A stubborn respect”, during the “Olivier Clément Conference” organized by the Saint-Serge Institute in Paris.

Interviews

On May 4th, Jean Druel, OP was interviewed by Chiara Pelligrini for the journal Oasis on the reform of religious discourse in Egypt. Click here to read the interview in Italian…

On May 24th, Mr. Dominique Avon was interviewed on “Contemporary Sunni authorities and the challenge of the classical heritage”. This interview was carried out as part of the scientific interest group “Religions. Practices, texts, powers”. Click here to watch the interview in French…

Jury

From May 29 to 31st, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated as a member of the jury for the certificates and licenses of the ecumenical theological institute al-Mowafaqa in Rabat.

Study trip

From May 16 to 19th, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP went to the Biblical School in Jerusalem to lead a mission to evaluate the library.

Visits

On May 21st, 22nd and 23rd, we received a team from the La Pira Library in Palermo in order to finalize our collaborative project. An initiative of the Fscire Foundation (Fondazione per le Scienze Religiose Giovanni XXIII of Bologna), the La Pira Library is dedicated to the intellectual history of Islam.

On May 23rd, we received Pastors Justin Meyers and Jeffrey Bos, from the interreligious dialogue Al Amana Centre in the Sultanate of Oman. They were accompanied by Pastor Naji Umran, who is serving in Cairo.

Scholars’ House

In May, we had the pleasure of receiving in the Scholars’ House Mr. José Antonio Paredes, professor of philosophy and independent researcher in Madrid, Ms. Gyöngyi Oroszi and Mr. András Szenczi, PhD students at the Avicenna Institute in Piliscsaba, Hungary, Ms. Jamela Ouahhou, Master’s student at the University of Aix-Marseille, Mrs. Rosanna Budelli, Mrs. Stefania De Nardis and Mr. François-Xavier de Saint-Pern from the La Pira Library in Italy.

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Newsletter — April 2019

Dear friends,

We are often asked the question —without animosity— what the IDEO is for and who benefits from our research, beyond a limited circle of academics? Your encouraging messages, the increasing consultation of our online catalogue and the MIDEO, the numerous proposals for collaboration, the renewed public of our seminars, show us that while it is true that we mainly reach academics, a wider public is also interested in our work. Feel free to contact us, on Facebook or Twitter, to tell us what you expect from the IDEO!

Seminars

On April 2nd, Felix Udolisa, OP led a seminar on the topic of “Christians and Muslims Under Sharia Law in Northern Nigeria: A Pastor’s Perspective”. Twenty years after the application of Sharia law as criminal law, daily life has normalized, but insecurity remains high, and ethnic and economic tensions remain. Click here to read the report…

On April 7th, the third session of the seminar organized for French-speaking PhD students at the University of al-Azhar, as part of the Adawāt project, was held. Mr. Frédéric Lagrange continued his presentation on translation studies, presenting the issues related to linguistic variations in French and the strategies for their translation into Arabic.

On April 23rd, Adrien Candiard, OP led a seminar entitled “Ibn Taymiyya and the God of the Philosophers”. The “God of the Philosophers,” to use Blaise Pascal’s phrase, is not the Creator God of the revelation but only the fruit of the error of a human mind that would be abandoned to itself. Click here to read the report…

On April 24th, Mr. Aziz Hilal gave the sixth and last session of his introductory seminar on Arab philosophy. This sixth session was devoted to the Arab philosophy in Andalusia.

Lectures

On April 3rd, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture at the parish of Maadi in Cairo on the topic of the common declaration on human fraternity signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh of al-Azhar in Dubai in February.

On April 3rd, Emilio Platti, OP participated in the seventh Arab-Christian Day organized by Casa Árabe and the University of San Dámaso, during which he gave a lecture entitled “Arab-Christian Theologians and Freedom in the Middle Ages”.

On April 23rd, Father Jean-Louis Déclais gave a lecture to the seminarians of the French Mission and their formators on a week-long visit to the Diocese of Oran, during which he presented the content of his article published in MIDEO 28: “The Gospel according to Wahb ibn Munabbih and his family”.

On April 29 and 30th, Jean Druel, OP gave two lectures on the topic of interreligious dialogue at the internal seminar of SEDOS, the Service for Documentation and Study of the World Mission, which gathers more than eighty Catholic congregations and associations.

Workshop

On April 4th, Jean Druel, OP led a workshop on transliteration from Arabic into the Latin alphabet for the students in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the American University in Cairo. Several tools are available on the “Toolbox” page of our website.

Teaching

From March 25 through April 5, 2019, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture on Arabic manuscript studies as part of the licentiate degree program “Arabic and Islamic Studies” at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome.  The course included a visit to the Vatican Library and a presentation on the collection of Christian Arabic manuscripts, delivered by Adrien de Fouchier, OP.

Round table

On April 4th, Mr. Dominique Avon participated in a round table entitled “Islam of the Enlightenment: An Islam of Our Time”, during the international conference “Islam of the Enlightenment: Tribute to Malek Chebel” organized by the Arab World Institute.

Visits

From March 28th to April 6th, we welcomed the Nigerian Dominican brother Felix Udolisa, OP parish pastor in Zamfara State in northern Nigeria. Brother Felix is involved in Islamic-Christian dialogue.

On April 8th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Andreas Ellwardt, a specialist in Eastern Christianity, who is coordinating a project to digitize Copto-Arab manuscripts.

On April 9th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Clarck Membourou Moimecheme and Mr. Sami Benkherfallah, PhD students in Islamic studies and holders of an IFAO scholarship.

On April 17th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Mohammed Rabie, Egyptian fiction writer, author of Kawkab ʿAnbar (Kutubkhān, 2013), and Mrs. Stéphanie Dujols, who translated this novel into French under the title La Bibliothèque enchantée (Actes Sud, 2019) and took the photo illustrating this Newsletter during her previous visit to our neighborhood.

On April 22nd, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Damien Regnard, Senator representing the French abroad.

On April 22nd, we also welcomed for lunch Mr. Alain Dejammet, vice-president of the association of the  Friends of IDEO, and Mr. Joseph Maïla, professor of geopolitics at Essec.

On April 24th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Catherine Le Thomas and Adrien Billard, from the political service of the French Embassy.

Scholars’ House

In April, we had the pleasure of receiving in the Scholars’ House Mr. Tadeu Mazzola Verza, professor of Medieval Philosophy at the Federal University of Minas Gerais, Brazil, Mr. Olivier Rampnoux, professor at the University of Poitiers, Ms. Pauline Khoury, PhD student in geopolitics at the French Institute of Geopolitics in Paris, and Mr. Jean Paul Titalom Happi, Professor at the Institute of Business Administration of Poitiers.

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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 — February 2019

Dear friends,

The reading of Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen’s new book on Coptic-Catholic priests in Upper Egypt (Paris 2019, in French) took up the bulk of my first days of February. At the same time moving, funny, sharp, critical, softened, compassionate, always specific, Catherine’s text describes people and situations that are largely ignored by foreign observers and Egyptians living in large cities. Upper Egypt, between Helwan and Luxor, is a totally underdeveloped land, abandoned since 1980s. By adopting the perspective of Coptic-Catholics, an ultra-minority in Egypt, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen takes us on a trip to the deep countryside, and gives us a new perspective on this country. From one village to another, relations with Muslim and Coptic-Orthodox authorities can change completely, from outright hostility to real friendship. And everywhere, you find the same great poverty. This is a must-read!

Call for applications

The IFAO and the IDEO are pleased to announce their joint offer of a one-year post-PhD fellowship in Cairo (September 2019‒August 2020) in the following fields: falsafa, kalām and naḥw. Click here for more information… (application deadline: April 30th, 2019).

Seminars

On February 17th, the second session of the seminar organized for French-speaking PhD students at the University of al-Azhar, as part of the Adawāt project, was held. Mr. Frédéric Lagrange continued his presentation on translation studies, presenting the issues related to linguistic variations in French and the strategies for their translation into Arabic.

On February 20th, Mr. Aziz Hilal gave the fourth session of his introductory seminar on Arab philosophy. Click here to see the details of the next dates…

Conferences

On February 14th and 15th, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx participated in the conference “Man, Environment, War” organized by the National Museum of Natural History in Paris, during which he gave a lecture entitled “The Role of Classical Heritage in the Anthropocene Age: The Status of Nature and Animals in Classical Arab Thought”.

On February 27th and 28thRené-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP participated in the conference “From Stone to Paper, from Paper to Digital” organized in Alexandria by Senghor University, during which he gave a lecture entitled “Libraries are preparing for the cataloguing of manuscripts according to the RDA rules”.

On February 28th and March 1st, Alberto Ambrosio, OP participated in the international conference “From Islam in Luxembourg to a European Thinking Regarding Islam” organized by the Luxembourg School of Religion & Society, during which he gave a lecture entitled “From a Fashionable Islam: Mystical, Political, Aesthetic”.

Lectures

On February 7th, Mr. Dominique Avon gave two lectures at the Abdul-Aziz Al Saoud Foundation in Casablanca, the first with Mr. Abdelkrim Madoun entitled “Teaching the history of religious facts”, and the second, entitled “The challenges of diversity for religious leaders and their training in a modern context”.

On February 14th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture on the topic of “Suicide in Islam”, as part of the DU in Suicidology at the University of Paris-Descartes.

On February 19th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Islamic Studies as a Resource in the face Islamic Fundamentalisms” as part of the training organized by the EPHE on religious mediation for sixty Muslim chaplains.

On February 26thJean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute in Jerusalem on the topic of “The contribution of the Church in Algeria to Islamic-Christian relations”.

Session

On February 8th and 9th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a 9-hour session at the Pey-Berland Institute in Bordeaux on the topic of “Meeting the Other: Theology and History”.

Workshop

On February 19th, Jean Druel, OP led a workshop on transliteration from Arabic into the Latin alphabet for the students of the Department of Arab and Muslim Civilization at the American University in Cairo. Various tools are available on the “Toolbox” page of our website.

Casablanca Book Fair

From February 5 to 21st, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP, Mr. Ahmad Chleilat and Mr. Mohamed Malchouch went to the Casablanca Book Fair to acquire books for the library. Books from the region (the Maghreb) are indeed very difficult to find in Egypt.

Visits

On February 1st, we received a visit from a team from the La Pira Library in Palermo. The Fscire Foundation (Fondazione per le scienze religiose Giovanni XXIII), chaired by Alberto Melloni, will soon inaugurate a library dedicated to the intellectual history of Islam. Rosanna Budelli (librarian), Margherita Picchi and Francesco Cargnelutti (researchers), came to study the possibility of collaboration with the IDEO.

On February 5th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Ahmad Khan, Professor of Islamic Studies in the Department of Arab and Muslim Civilization at the American University in Cairo.

On February 5th, we received for lunch Mrs. Myrhem Tolba, a Master’s student in geopolitics at the French Institute of Geopolitics (Paris).

On February 8th, we welcomed a group of teachers from the French High School of Maadi for the day.

On February 9th, we welcomed Bishop Robert Le Gall of Toulouse and a group of pilgrims from his diocese on a visit to the Coptic Catholic and Orthodox Bishops of Upper Egypt.

On February 21st, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Safiyah Muyeen, Political Counsellor of the Australian Embassy in Cairo.

Scholars’ House

In February, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mr. Ilyass Amharar, PhD student in Muslim theology at INALCO (Paris) and Iremam (Aix-en-Provence), Ms. Veronika Jankovics, PhD student at the Avicenna Institute in Piliscsaba, Hungary, Mrs. Mary Elston, PhD student at Harvard University, Mrs. Dorothea Reule and Mr. Denis Nosnitsin, researchers at the Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies at the University of Hamburg, and Mr. Walid Saleh, Professor at the University of Toronto.

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Newsletter — January 2019

Dear friends,

Following numerous rumors in recent months, we feared that the famous Cairo Book Fair would be too remote, too difficult for the public to access, and burdened with discouraging formalities for international publishers. This has not been the case! The organization of this fiftieth Cairo Book Fair is remarkable. Though the premises are certainly a little far from Downtown, access is fast, and the event is modern and functional. Egyptian and international publishers have responded in large numbers to the invitation, and the Egyptian public has been attending, as in previous years. For IDEO, the Cairo Book Fair is the main source of new books from the Arab world. Each year the library team (photo) acquires about 700 new titles (representing about 1,000 volumes, for an amount of about €10,000). The new acquisitions for the library’s classical Arab heritage collection can be seen by clicking here…

Seminars

On January 17th, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx led a session of our internal seminar on the topic of “The Islamic Problem of Politics: Reintegrating dīn at dunyā”. From a Hegelian perspective, Guillaume reflects on the Islamic “moment” of human thought, which would correspond with the reintegration of religion into the affairs of the city, after they had been discarded in the name of the Christian principle which wants to “give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s”.

On January 30th, Mr. Aziz Hilal gave the third session of his introductory seminar on Arab philosophy. Click here to see the details of the next dates….

Session

From January 23‒25th, the IDEO organized in Lyon an introductory workshop on Islam for the Dominican student brothers from the Province of France. Those who presented are: Mr. Éric Geoffroy, Mr. Abd al-Haqq Guiderdoni, as well as Rémi Chéno, OP, Jean Druel, OP, and Emmanuel Pisani, OP.

Lectures

On January 10th, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx gave a lecture on the topic of “In the Beginning was the Number: The Arithmetical Basis of Philosophy at the Dawn of the Ninth Century”, during the conference “Mathematics and Philosophy in Classical Islam” in Beirut.

On January 17th, Mr. Dominique Avon gave a lecture in Brest entitled “Religious Dimensions of Conflicts in the Near and Middle East”.

On January 22nd, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture entitled “Christians and Muslims in Egypt: How Religious Identities are (Re)composed Today”, at the Agora-Tête-d’Or in Lyon. This lecture was organized by the Friends of IDEO Association and the Christians of the Mediterranean Network. Click here to listen to the lecture (in French)…

Round Table

On January 12th, Mr. Dominique Avon participated in a round table discussion with Haoues Seniguer and Jean-Louis Schlegel on the subject of “The Middle East: Religions Held Hostage by Politicians?”

Thesis Award

Dennis Halft, OP was granted the 2019 Alexander Böhlig Award for his doctoral dissertation “The Arabic Vulgate in Safavid Persia: Arabic Printing of the Gospels, Catholic Missionaries, and the Rise of Shīʿī Anti-Christian Polemics” (Freie Universität in Berlin, 2016) by the Gertrud-und-Alexander-Böhlig-Stiftung. The award ceremony will be held at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities in Berlin on December 13, 2019.

Visits

On January 3rd, we received for lunch Mr. Glenn Miles, the new ambassador of Australia in Egypt.

On January 14th, we received for lunch Mrs. Mari Neuvonen, First Counsellor of the Finnish Embassy in Egypt.

Scholars’ House

In January, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mr. Yousef Elzalabany, student at Princeton University in the Department of Near Eastern Studies, Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, member of the IDEO and Professor of the History of Modern and Contemporary Islam at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Ms. Hadel Jarada, a researcher in Islamic intellectual history, Mr. Lutz Rogler, researcher in political Islam, Ms. Nadirah Mansour, PhD student at Princeton University, and Mr. Alain Messaoudi, Professor at the University of Nantes.

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Newsletter — December 2018

Dear Friends,

From December 13‒20th, in Iraq, Amir Jajé organized the second part of the conference devoted to relations between Twelver Shiites and Christians (Paris, April 2018).  This second part of the conference consisted of a workshop on Arabic manuscripts in Najaf and a one-day study session with the al-Khoei Institute. This trip was also an opportunity to visit Christian villages in the North, Qaraqosh in particular, as well as Erbil and Mosul, and Shiites shrines in the South (photo).  At a time when Shiites and Sunni seem to be in a political, cultural, and confessional impasse, the IDEO has the opportunity to work with both, serving the Arab-Muslim heritage as a whole. It will take years to overcome the inter-community violence, from which the Yezidi and Christians have also suffered a lot. May the Child of the manger bring peace and gentleness into hearts and the world. We wish you a year 2019 of peace, justice, and truth in love.

Seminars

On December 19th, M. Aziz Hilal gave the second session of his introductory seminar on Arab philosophy. Click here to see the details of the next dates…

On December 23rd, M. Frédéric Lagrange , Professor of Arabic Language and Literature at the Sorbonne University, led a day-long seminar on translation with French-speaking PhD students from the University of al-Azhar, as part of our project Adawāt.

Lectures

From December 4‒7th, Guillaume de Vaulx participated in the international conference entitled “Methodical Exploration of Arabic Manuscripts of Philosophy in the World”, which was held at the Maison des sciences de l’homme in Paris. His lecture was entitled “Once Again, the Real World is Rational: Systematic Exploration of the Manuscripts of Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-Ṣafā  All Over the World”.

On December 19th, Jean Druel, OP participated in a conference entitled “Arabic, as seen by Westerners”, organized by the Manuscript Center of the Library of Alexandria. His lecture was entitled “The Kitāb of Sībawayh: In the Hands of Orientalists and Arabs”.

Interreligious Dialogue

On December 11th, we received the visit of a group of Indonesian researchers and teachers from the University of al-Azhar and Wahid Hasyim University in Indonesia, as part of a study on “The relationship of Christians to the Koran and its influence in their tolerance towards Muslims”. Professor Muḥammad Sayf al-Dīn, who leads the team, is working on a project on cross-readings of sacred texts.

Workshop of manuscript

From December 13‒20th, Amir Jajé, OP, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, Dennis Halft, OP, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP, Mateus Da Silva, OP, Stéphane-Dominique Hindo, OP and Mr. Francis Richard participated in a workshop on manuscripts in Najaf, as a follow-up to the April conference organized by ISTR and IDEO in partnership with the El-Khoei Institute. Emmanuel Pisani, OP presented a summary report of the conference on the interactions between Twelver Shiites and Christians; René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP presented the cataloguing work of the IDEO Library.

Teaching

In November-December, Emilio Platti, OP taught the class “Introduction to Islam” at the Catholic University of Leuven (KU Leuven).

Interviews

Emmanuel Pisani, OP was interviewed, along with Pierre-Henry Salfati and Bruno Abd-al-Haqq Guiderdoni, by Abderrahim Hafidi on the TV program “Les chemins de la foi” on channel France 2, on December 16th on the topic of Adam and Eve, and again on December 23rd on the topic of Jesus and Mary.

On December 23rd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP was interviewed by Ghaleb Bencheikhon the TV program “Questions d’islam” on the French culture channel.

Visits

On December 8th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Ruy Amaral, Ambassador of Brazil to Egypt.

On December 10th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Julia Skorupska, Political Counsellor of the Embassy of the United Kingdom, and Mr. Paul Kett, Second Secretary.

On December 11th, we received for lunch Mr. Francisco Carrión Molina, correspondent of the newspaper El Mundo in Egypt.

Scholars’ House

In December, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Rachida Chih, researcher at the Scientific Research National Center (CNRS), Mr. Ahmed Khalid, PhD student in the Department of Islamology at the University of Bayreuth in Germany.

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Newsletter — November 2018

Dear friends,

The visit of the Islamic-Christian group for theological reflection, organized by the SNRM (National Service of the Bishops of France for Relations with Muslims), was a beautiful occasion of exchange and reflection (photo). The members of this group are as follows:

Christian representatives: P. Vincent Feroldi, Director of the SNRM, Sister Colette Hamza, his assistant, Emilio Platti, OP, Claudio Monge, OP and Adrien Candiard, OP. Muslim representatives: Djamel Djazouli, Denis Gril and Omero Marongiu-Perria.

The intellectual and academic tradition of Muslim theology often struggles to make its voice heard and is often neglected by proselytizing discourse. The work of this group is therefore extremely encouraging!

Seminars

On November 13th, Mr. Oussama al-Saadouni Gamil, PhD student at the Faculty of Dār al-ʿUlūm, presented his thesis work on inflation in the Mamluk Era. He chose to focus on a ten-year period, from 800/1397 to 810/1408, in order to study, in as much detail as possible, the factors at play. Click here to read the report…

Interreligious dialogue

From November 29 to December 1st, we received the Islamic-Christian theological reflection group organized by the SNRM, (National Service of the Bishops of France for Relations with Muslims). On November 30th, as part of the French Insitute’s “Midan Mounira” lecture series, Adrien Candiard, OP led a round-table discussion between Djamel Djazouli, Denis Gril, and Omero Marongiu-Perria. The debate focused on Muslim perspectives on interreligious dialogue. Click here to read the report…

Lectures

From November 5-8th, Amir Jajé, OP participated in an international conference entitled “Muslim-Christian Dialogue for Better Understanding”, organized by the Royal Jordanian Institute for Interreligious Studies and the Forum for Development, Culturem, and Dialogue (FDCD) in Amman.

From November 7-8th, Adrien Candiard, OP gave two lectures on Islam, one at the parish of Saint-François-de-Molitor in Paris, and the second at the Dominican Priory in Rennes.

On November 9th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, along with Mohamed Khenissi, gave a lecture entitled “The Question of Apostasy in the Muslim Legal Tradition” during a study day organized by ISTR in Paris.

On November 11th, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture at the French Institute as part of the “Midan Mounira” lecture series entitled “The Arabic Language: This Beautiful Unknown” in which he presented the state of research on the origin of the Arabic alphabet, and the historical sources for the study of written and oral variations of Arabic.

On November 15thDominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “The Magisterium of al-Azhar by the turn of the 20th and 21st centuries”, at the Catholic University of Lyon. Click here to listen to the lecture in French…

On November 16th, Mateus Domingues da Silva, OP participated in the conference entitled “Rationality and Mystical Tradition: Shiite and Catholic Perspectives”, organized at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas (Angelicum) in Rome. He gave a lecture entitled “The Human Knowledge of God According to the Metaphysics of Light of Suhrawardī”.

On November 17th, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP participated in a conference/debate with Jacques Huntzinger in Paris on the topic of “Religiosity and Secularization: Contradictory Trends”, organized by the iRemmo (Institute for Research and Studies on the Mediterranean and the Middle East).

On November 17th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, along with Ghaleb Bencheikh, gave a lecture entitled “Prayer in Religious Traditions: A Challenge for Interreligious Dialogue”, at the Interreligious Forum organized during the Weeks for Islamic-Christian Encounter in Strasbourg.

On November 21stClaudio Monge, OP gave an opening lecture at the Dies Academicus 2018‒2019 of the theological faculties of Veneto and on November 22nd, he gave a lecture in dialogue with Cristoph Theobald, SJ in Padua.

On November 22nd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a conference/debate on the subject “The Questions that Muslims Ask Us”, at Saint-Jean-Baptiste parish in Rouen.

On November 22nd, Emmanuel Pisani, led a conference/debate entitled “Why dialogue?” at the Lycée of Sacré-Cœur in Rouen.

On November 26th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a conference/debate entitled “Rational Islam or the Islam of the Enlightenment, Yesterday and Today: Is There a Renewal of Muʿtazilism?”, at the Fabrique du 222.

Round Table

On November 23rdDominique Avon participated in a round table in Paris on human rights during a study day entitled “History and posterity of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.

On November 24th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, Rabbi Gabriel Haggaï, and researcher Karim Ifrak led a round-table discussion on the topic of “Religions and Citizenship”, as part of an evening organized by Méo High School in Villeneuve-Saint-Georges.

Call for papers

The call for papers for MIDEO 36 (2021), dedicated to iǧtihād and taqlīd, was published by Emmanuel Pisani, OP. The deadline for submitting articles for evaluation is January 15th, 2020. Click here for more information…

Workshop

From November 25th to 28th, Claudio Monge, OP participated in a workshop entitled “Religion and Peace Education”, led by the Berghof Foundation, with sixteen religious leaders from sixteen different countries, in Bad Saarow (Germany).

 Interview

On November 1st, Jean Druel, OP was interviewed by TV program “Layālī,”  on the Nile Culture Channel, on the history of IDEO. Click here to watch the program (in Arabic) …

Appointment

On November 8th, Jean Druel, OP was given a 5-year appointment as an expert by AVEPRO, the Vatican agency responsible for the evaluation of Catholic universities.

Visits

On November 5th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. François Legué, First Counsellor of the French Embassy in Cairo.

On November 5th, we welcomed for dinner Mrs. Alimatul Qibtiyah Badjuri and Mrs. Lailatis Syarifah, from Sunan Kalijaga Islamic University (Yogyakarta, Indonesia), who came to Egypt to counduct field research on women wearing the niqāb.

On November 6th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Wierish Ramsoekh, First Counsellor of the Dutch Embassy in Cairo, and Mr. Tsjebbe Paulussen, Political Counsellor.

On November 9th, we welcomed for lunch M. Jakub Sypiańsky, PhD student at Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, who works on the social context of intellectual exchanges between Byzantine and Muslim countries (750‒969).

On November 15th, we received for lunch Mrs. Camilla Rasmussen, First Counsellor of the Danish Embassy in Cairo, and Mrs. Louise Haubro, Political Counsellor.

On November 19th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Melanie Franzen, Political Counsellor at the German Embassy in Cairo.

On November 27th, we received for lunch Mr. Ibrahim Mansour, PhD student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and ARCE fellow in Cairo, who works on the origins of the Shadhiliyya Sufi brotherhood.

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Newsletter — October 2018

Dear friends,

This month I would like to go into some technical detail about our library’s catalogue, because things are evolving very quickly. Since 2001, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP has developed, along with several developers, a cataloguing software system called AlKindi which is wholly designed for the classical Arab heritage. Since 2011, version 4 of this software has been completely redesigned to consider the IFLA LRM bibliographic model, which focuses on works, their cultural context, and editorial history.

For a long time, we had been looking to share this exceptional tool with other libraries. This is now possible due to funding granted by the European Union (project Adawāt). Since September, the Institute for Arab Manuscripts (IAM, Cairo, see the picture) has been cataloguing its manuscripts in the same database as our own. So, we are now taking our software and making a distinction between the integrated library management system (ILS), which we now call Diamond-ILS, and the portal dedicated to the classical Arabic heritage, which keeps the name AlKindi.

All this data is available online: the AlKindi general portal (IDEO and IAM), IDEO’s catalogue and the IAM’s catalogue.

We are currently in negotiations with other libraries who wish to use Diamond-ILS, and in particular to catalogue their Arabic manuscripts. Diamond-ILS is the only software that allows both printed works and manuscripts to be catalogued according to the IFLA LRM model.

Thank you all for your support in serving the classical Arab heritage and the dialogue of religions!

Seminars

On October 3rd, M. Aziz Hilal led a seminar on the topic “The Legacy of al-Fārābī (d. 339/950) in the Philosophical Thinking in al-Andalus”. The influence of al-Fārābī is clearly manifested in Ibn Bāǧǧa’s (d. 533/1139) political philosophy, particularly in his treatise Tadbīr al-mutawaḥḥid, in Averroes’ (d. 595/1198) commentary on Plato’s Republic, or in Ibn Ṭufayl’s (d. 581/1185) work Ḥayy b. Yaqzān. Click here to read the report…

On October 16th, Frédéric Abécassis, Director of Studies at the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology (IFAO) in Cairo, led a seminar on the topic “From the Liberal Education Market to an Egypt on the Move: A Return to a Path of Research”. Behind apparently separate research topics, he has always been interested in the question of the construction of human communities. Click here to read the report…

Lectures

On October 7th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a conference/debate in Paris proposed by Public Encouragement on the subject “The Question of the Separation between the Temporal and the Spiritual in the Muslim tradition: Challenges for French Secularism”.

On October 10th, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a lecture entitled “The Dawn of the Muslim State”, as part of the annual lecture series “Sorbonne Talking” at Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi.

On October 17th, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture at the European Delegation on the role of al-Azhar in interfaith dialogue in Egypt.

From October 17th to 19th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the XXIst Annual Meeting of the European People’s Party’s (EPP) Intercultural Group Dialogue with Churches and Religious Institutions in Lisbon, and participated in the panel “Education, Family, Churches, and Europe”.

On October 25th, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a lecture entitled “What Arab Fables Say About Friendship Between Natural Enemies” at the French Institute in Beirut.

Workshop

On October 16th, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay participated in a workshop on Digital Humanities organized by the American University in Cairo. In particular, he presented the AlKindi online portal.

Teaching

On October 15th, Guillaume de Vaulx taught two classes, the first one entitled “Introduction to Islamic Philosophy: The Theoretical Question of Truth”, the second one entitled “The Political Question of Religious Obedience”, at the Beirut Higher School of Business.

On October 22nd and 24th, Adrien Candiard, OP taught an eight hour class on the “divine attributes” at Saint Joseph University in Beirut, for the Master’s program in Interreligious Studies. While there, the play Pierre et Mohamed, of which fr. Adrien is the author, was performed in several schools.

Appointment

On September 1st, Emmanuel Pisani, OP was appointed member of the Council for Interreligious Relations and New Religious Movements of the French Bishops’ Conference, led by Bishop Jean-Marc Aveline.

Interreligious dialogue

On October 12th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP and Amir Jajé, OP participated in a meeting of researchers and students from the University of Religions and Denominations (Qom, Iran), in partnership with the ISTR research lab “Islam and Otherness” and the CéSor (EHESS).

Visits

On October 14th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Nadim Ammann, who is in charge of Middle Eastern cooperation for the diocese of Cologne (Germany).

Invitations

On October 24th, several brothers of the IDEO were invited for lunch at the French residence to meet Mr. Charles Personnaz, who is conducting a project to preserve the Yezidi, Jewish, and Christian heritage in the Middle East.

Scholars’ House

In October, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Ms. Gyöngyi Oroszi, PhD student at the Avicenna Institute in Piliscsaba in Hungary, Mr. Jonathan Stutz, Professor of Church History at the Faculty of Protestant Theology, Ludwig-Maximilian University, Munich, and Mr. Nicolas Michel, professor of contemporary history at the University of Aix-en-Provence.

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Newsletter — September 2018

Dear friends,

The talk on the principles of interreligious dialogue, given by Bishop Jean-Marc Aveline at the second gala of IDEO (see the picture above), was inaugural in several ways. Not only did it inaugurate our academic year and our annual cycle of seminars (click here to register), but it was also a great exercise in communicating perceptive theological thought in simple words accessible to all: Catholics or non-Catholics, believers or non-believers alike (click here to listen to the conference).

May this new academic year offer us many opportunities to exchange ideas with depth and finesse on what are sometimes complicated and sensitive subjects.

Lectures

On September 12th, Mgr Jean-Marc Aveline, Auxiliary Bishop of Marseille and President of the Council for Interreligious Relations at the Bishop’s Conference of France, gave a lecture entitled “The theological Principles of Interreligious Dialogue”. Organized for the second Gala of the IDEO, this conference inaugurated our annual cycle of seminars. Bishop Aveline showed that interreligious dialogue is only a manifestation of a more fundamental dialogue that God engages with the world: a dialogue of service, to which the Church calls all believers to contribute. Click here to listen to the conference and read the report…

On September 21st, Jean Druel, OP, along with Mr. Ilyass Amharar, gave a lecture entitled “’A Little Monday’: Ancient Rebuttals and Defenses of the Teaching of Sībawayh”, as part of the fifth meeting of the “Foundations of Arabic Linguistics” group at Cambridge University.

From September 28-30th, Guillaume de Vaulx participated in the workshop “Art and Research” at the High School of Art in Aix-en-Provence, by setting up of a board game inspired by the fable of the animals in the Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-Ṣafā.

Round table

On September 26th, Jean Druel, OP participated in the “Shared Heritage” conference in New York, which inaugurated the cooperation between the National Library of France and the New York Public Library. He participated in a round table discussion on the topic of “Research and Dissemination” as part of our collaboration with the Web Portal “Libraries of the Orient”.

Award

On September 11th, the Norwegian organization Stefanus Alliance International awarded Amir Jajé, OP and Mr. Saad Saloum, founders of the Iraqi Council for Interreligious Dialogue, the Stefanus Prize 2018. This prize is awarded every two years to people who work in the field of human rights, with a particular focus on freedom of conscience and religion.

Dominican Roman Days

From September 26‒30th, the Dominican Roman Days were held in Rome, at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (the Angelicum). This is a gathering of about forty Dominican brothers and sisters who work in Muslim contexts. This meeting, which takes place every four years, is an opportunity to reflect together on the challenges of our activities and on the state of interreligious dialogue. Several members of IDEO participated: Rémi Chéno, OP, Jean Druel, OP, Robini Marianto, OP, Claudio Monge, OP and Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP. Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture on the linguistic problems of the intelligibility of the faith, and Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture entitled “Dialogue and Otherness: Pierre Claverie’s Contribution to the Reflection on Interreligious Dialogue”.

Visits

On September 6th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Marie-Hélène Avril, Lecturer at the University of Bordeaux.

On September 13th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. David Ruffel, in charge of the Book Service at the French Institute of Egypt.

On September 17th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Marie-Delphine Martellière and Mr. Paul-André Claudel from the Center for Alexandrian Studies (CEAlex).

On September 17th, we received Mr. Djim Dramé, Director of the Laboratory of Islamology of the Fundamental Institute of Black Africa (IFAN) in Dakar, and Mr. Ousmane Diaw, Editor in Cairo, to explore the possibility of collaboration on cataloguing the manuscripts of IFAN.

On September 29th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Julien Loiseau, Professor of Islamic history at the University of Aix-en-Provence.

Scholars’ House

In September, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House P. John Mallare, Scheutist priest from the Phillipines and PhD student in Islamic studies at PISAI (Rome); Mr. Martino Diez, Scientific Director of the International Oasis Foundation, as part of his research on the manuscripts of Ibn al-Makīn (672/1273); Mr. Benedict Coleridge, PhD student in political philosophy at Oxford University; Mr. András Szenczi, PhD student at the Avicenna Institute of Hungary; Mr. Farid Bouchiba, PhD student at the University of Nantes; Mrs. Claire Gallien, Lecturer at the Paul Valéry University in Montpellier

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Newsletter — July-August 2018

Dear friends,

I hope you had a good summer, fruitful yet relaxing at the same time. We often receive messages from friends lamenting the fact that this Newsletter reports past events more than it does future events. The idea behind the newsletter is to openly share what is really happening at the IDEO, rather than to use it as a forum to advertise. To keep informed about our upcoming activities, you can subscribe to this newsletter and check the “Seminars” box, you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and you can view the calendar on our site.

This is going to be a year of collaboration with several Egyptian and international institutions: the Francophone sections of al-Azhar University, the Institute of Arabic Manuscripts of the Arab League in Cairo, the Tafsir Center in Riyadh, the Hindawi Foundation, the Egyptian Association for Historical Studies, the Department of Arabic and Islamic Civilization at the American University in Cairo (where three of our brothers are graduate students), and the Vatican Library, where Adrien de Fouchier, OP works. These collaborations reflect our commitment to participate in the efforts of Arabic-speaking Muslim scholars to break out of their isolation from international research and to study the classical texts in the light of contemporary human sciences.

A portion of these activities is funded by the European Delegation in Cairo, as part of the new project “Adawāt: Tools for Critical Thinking in Islamic Studies”. All this is also possible due to your help and support!

On behalf of the members of the IDEO, our collaborators, and our partners, a big thanks to you all.

Visits

On July 4th, we were invited to a dinner at the French Embassy to meet delegation from the French parliament who are working on the situation of the Christians in the East.

Library

From July 17‒19th, a training on cataloguing functionalities developed by Diamond-ILS for AlKindi was given to a team of four people from the Tafsir Center (Riyadh).

From July 20‒24th, Mr. Mohamed Malchouch, future director of the IDEO cataloguing department, came to visit the library. Currently in charge of the Division of Document Processing at the King Abdul Aziz al-Saoud Foundation, Mr. Mohamed Malchouch should be assuming his new duties in the IDEO library at the beginning of October.

Lectures

On July 24th, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture at Saint-Brieuc titled, “Jerusalem: What are Paths Towards Peace?”. He gave the same lecture on July 31st in Trébeurden, on August 2nd in Tréguier, and again on August 6th in Rhuys.

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