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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Newsletter — June 2018

Dear friends,

we are glad to announce the publication of volume 33 of MIDEO, dedicated to the Islamic theology of religious diversity. Just as Christianity, Islam must articulate its claim to universality with the reality of a multitude of other religions. What is their status? Are they willed by God? Are they outdated? Are they part of Islam itself? Muslim scholars have been exploring these questions since the early centuries of Islam, and this is the topic of this volume of MIDEO. Starting volume 31 (2015), and thanks to the work of IFAO, MIDEO is fully available online on the OpenEdition website, so you can read this volume 33 by clicking here. In addition, we are pleased to announce that we have made available online the articles of the previous volumes, from 1 (1954) to 30 (2014). In total, more than 220 scientific articles are accessible via the AlKindi catalogue. We hope you enjoy reading them!

Lectures

On June 7th, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a conference at the Orient Institut of Beirut entitled “Friendship between natural enemies: the ambitious brotherhood of Ikhwān al-Ṣafā”.

From June 19‒22nd, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP participated in the annual conference of the Middle East Library Committee, MELCom International, which was held this year at the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest.

On June 10th, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “Muḥammad Reżā Jadīd al-Islām (d. 1266/1849) and his anti-Jewish polemical work” at the international workshop “The Jews of Iran: Society, culture and politics through the ages” organized at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

On June 18th and 19th, Amir Jajé, OP participated in the international conference “Human rights and conditions for inclusive citizenship in conflict zones” organized in Oslo by HL-senteret Center on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

From June 26‒28th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the second international congress of PLURIEL “Islam and belongings” during which he gave a lecture entitled “Al-walāʾ wa-l-barāʾ: issues of a Salafist principle on the perception and the status of the other”, at the Gregorian University in Rome.

Interviews

On June 25th, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP and Jean Druel, OP were interviewed by the Saudi channel Al-Arabiya as part of a television documentary on the IDEO library.

On June 28th, Jean Druel, OP was interviewed on the work of the IDEO by Mr. Amr Mabrouk on Radio Cairo.

Visits

On June 16th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Amar Ouali, from the military mission of the French Embassy in Cairo.

On June 18th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Nora Kalbarczyk, Head of the Middle East Zone for KAAD, the German Catholic University Exchange Service, which offers scholarships to students from the Middle East in Germany. She was accompanied by Fr. Kamil William and Mr. Michel Ghattas, her correspondents in Egypt.

On June 20th, we welcomed for lunch professor Mohamed Serag, Director of the Department of Arabic Studies at the American University in Cairo, and Mrs. Wafya Hamouda, his assistant.

On June 22nd,  we welcomed for lunch Mr. Simon Schäfer, a trainee from the Political Department of the Swiss Embassy in Cairo.

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Newsletter — May 2018

Dear friends,

The academic year has ended like last year, with a seminar session (photo) and an ifṭār to which a hundred people attended. It was an opportunity to welcome new students and researchers at the IDEO. At a time when more and more researchers work alone and only document on the Internet, it is important to recall the importance of human exchanges and libraries, because not everything is on the Internet and nothing can replace the encounter with other human beings.

Seminars

On May 7th, a session of the joint seminar between Al-Azhar and IDE), discussing the relationship between faith and reason, took place at the Faculty of Languages and Translations at Al-Azhar University. We studied a chapter from the book The Pillars of Faith by the famous Egyptian preacher Muḥammad al-Ghazālī (1917‒1996). Click here to read the report of the session…

On May 22nd, Adrien Candiard, OP led the last seminar of the academic year, titled “The Issue of the Existence of God in Ibn Taymiyya”. Can we prove that God exists with rational methods? At the end of the session, an ifṭār gathered the hundred attendees who had defied the heat to come. Click here to read the report…

Lectures

On May 11th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture called “Al-Ghazali and His Approach to Diversity” at the Interreligious Documentation Center of the Dominicans of Istanbul.

On May 14th, Mateus Domingues Da Silva, OP gave two presentations entitled “Islam as an Act of Faith” and “The Relationship between kalām and falsafa in Classical and Post-Classical Islam”, as part of a meeting organized by the Rio de Janeiro regional section of the National Conference of Brazilian Bishops and by the Commission on Faith and Reason of the Archdiocese of Rio de Janeiro.

On May 15th, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture entitled “The Challenges of Studying Arabic” to students of DEAC (Department of Contemporary Arabic Education) in Cairo.

On May 24th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a conference-debate on the topic  “The Question of Heterodoxy in Islam” in front of about fifty prisoners at a penitentiary center in Bois d’Arcy in France.

On May 26th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Untie for Dialogue, Connect for dialogue: The Mystery of Communion in Christianity” at EFY (French Yoga School) as part of the conference “Untie, Connect”.

On May 29th, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture entitled “Padar Serge de Beaurecueil, a Dominican Scholar in Afghanistan”, as part of the conference “Afghanistan: society, freedom and proclamation of the Gospel” organized by CIAM (International Center for Mission and Formation) in Rome.

Collaboration among libraries

On May 10th, the second meeting of the collaborative group between Jesuit, IFAO and IDEO’s librarians was held at IFAO.

On May 17th, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP participated in a working day at the Forney Library in Paris. This day was devoted to RDA cataloguing of artifacts.

On May 21‒22nd, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP participated in two working meetings with the Vatican Apostolic Library team in order to study possible collaborations in the field of Arabic manuscripts.

Day of studies

On May 3rd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a study day entitled “The Question of Salvation in Christianity and Islam”, as part of the formation days for hospital chaplains in Lyon.

Visits

From April 24th to May 4th, we received Rajen Lakra, OP who was sent on an exploratory mission to the IDEO to think about the foundation of a Dominican center for interreligious dialogue in India.

On May 1st, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Mikaïl Chebel, PhD student at EHESS, and Miss. Miléna Planche, from the Seasonal Poles of the French Institute.

From May 8 to 14th, we received a visit from Emilio Platti, OP.

On May 11th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Albin Andrieux, Professor at the IDAI (Institute of International Business Law) in Cairo.

On May 27th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Isolde Lehnert (Librarian of the German Institute of Archaeology), Mrs. Jane Smythe (Egyptologist at the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities) and Heike Schmidt (journalist).

On May 28th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Damien Fréjaville (responsible for IFAO’s heritage and security), Mr. et Mrs. Villalbi (Programmers), Mrs. Agnès Macquin (librarian of IFAO), and Mrs. Nermine Nabil (librarian of IFAO) as part of a reflection on the extension work of the IFAO library.

Scholars’ House

In May, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mr. Walid Saleh, Professor at the University of Toronto, Mr. András Mércz and Miss. Gyöngyi Oroszi PhD students at the Avicenna Institute in Piliscsaba, Hungary.

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Newsletter — April 2018

Dear friends,

The conference on the interactions between Shiites and Christians organized in Paris was a great moment in the life of the Institute. Even if the lectures were highly technical, they captured everyone’s interest by overlapping and allowing exciting and accessible discussions for all present. This is exactly the aim of research: to go down into specifics that may seem too detailed, then to touch the universal and link the questions of our contemporaries to the subjects of the day, yet with a historical and critical depth that is not possible with a generalist approach.

Thanks to all the speakers and to you all for your participation and support!

Conference

On April 11th, 12th and 13, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, Dennis Halft, OP and Amir Jajé, OP organized, in partnership with ISTR in Paris (Institute of Science and Theology of Religions) and GRIEM (Interdisciplinary Research Group on Missionary Writings), a conference sponsored by the associations “Friends of IDEO” and the “Œuvre d’Orient”, on the interaction between Twelver Shiites and Christians. Read the report here…

IDEO Seminar

On April 30th, Ms. Noëmie Lucas, PhD candidate at Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University, led a seminar session entitled “Use of Poetry: From the Political to the Historiographical”, based on an episode told by al-Balāḏurī (d. 279/892?) in his book Ansāb al-ašrāf, the construction of the al-Mubārak channel by the Governor of Iraq « b. ʿAbd Allāh Allāh al-Qasrī (d. 126/743). Read the report…

Lectures

On April 5th, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture on AlKindi, IDEO’s cataloguing system, to researchers at the Academic Journals Observatory, which depends directly on the Sheikh of al-Azhar.

On April 6th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP, with Mr. Christian Lochon and Bishop Pascal Gollnisch, participated in the Diocesan Day of Formation for Catholic Teaching in Toulon where he gave two lectures entitled: “Dialogue and Proclamation in the Thought of Benedict XVI” and “Diversity in Islam”.

On April 9th and 10th, Emilio Platti, OP and Adrien Candiard, OP participated in the interreligious theological working group of SNRM (National Service of the Bishops of France for Relations with Muslims).

On April 15th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a morning of studies on interreligious dialogue at the diocesan center in Bondy, as part of the formation days of the Diocese of Saint-Denis.

On April 23th, Rémi Chéno, OP moderated one of the sessions of the day organized by Ms. Naïma Bouras and the CEDEJ at the French Institute of Egypt in Cairo, entitled: “Feminine Religious Dynamics in Egypt: What Forms of Engagement?”.

On April 25th, Guillaume de Vaulx organized a seminar at the French Institute of the Near East in Beirut entitled “The Mirrors of Medieval Princes: Between the Art of Governing and the Art of Submission”. He also gave a lecture at the seminar, entitled “Abbasid Fables: From Being Mirrors of Princes to being Mirrors of the People”.

On April 23rd, Amir Jajé, OP gave a lecture entitled “The Philosophy of the Hussein Revolt” at the international conference “Spring of Martyrdom” in Karbala (Iraq)

From April 26‒28th, Amir Jajé, OP gave a lecture entitled “Migration (Emigration and Immigration) and Conversion as a Challenge of Theological Teaching: the Situation in the Near East”, at a conference on theological teaching in the Near East at Holy Spirit University of Kaslik in Lebanon.

Award

On April 3rd, the Faculty of Arts of Cairo University awarded to Giuseppe Scattolin, MCCJ the emblem of the Faculty in recognition of his contribution to the renewal of Sufi studies through his numerous scientific works.

Interreligious Dialogue

On April 14th, Amir Jajé, OP organized a Muslim-Christian meeting around the Virgin Mary at the Dominican Priory of the Annunciation in Paris. This meeting was an opportunity for Christians and Muslims of different persuasions to pray together.

Study trip

From April 15‒20th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP accompanied the ISTR study trip from Paris to Rabat and Casablanca.

Visits

From March 29th to April 9th, we received the visit of Adrien de Fouchier, OP who is works at the Vatican Library, and is writing a catalogue of Christian Arabic manuscripts.

On April 2nd, we welcomed Mr. Georges Fahmi, researcher at the European Academic Institute in Florence, who works on the rapprochement between al-Azhar and the Vatican in recent years.

On April 16th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Éléonor Fallot, coordinator of the CCFD (Catholic Committee for Hunger and Development) for the region.

On April 16th, we also welcomed for lunch Mrs. Sylvie Nony, researcher in the history of Arabic sciences, who is currently working on the persistence of the idea that some people really believed that the earth was flat.

From April 18‒25th, we received Mr. Dominique Avon, researcher in History, who is currently working on the history of the freedom of conscience in Islam.

On April 25th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Michael Driessen, Professor of Political Sciences at John Cabot University in Rome, who works on the geopolitics of interreligious dialogue.

Scholars’ House

In April, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Ms. Noëmie Lucas, PhD candidate at Paris Panthéon-Sorbonne University, Mr. Olivier Rampnoux, professor at the University of Poitiers, and Mr. Sami Benkherfallah, PhD student in history and archaeology at the University of Poitiers.

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