Newsletter March-April 2022

In the contiguity of the light, in the twilight celebration where one lets himself be lulled by musical sounds, we sense an inner and outer power that announces the sun of tomorrow, that of the origin, that of the desert, that of peace. Salam, a delivered word, an exchanged word, a daring word, an offered word, a human coruscation that carries a renewed meaning since the decay of humanity in the Garden. Word of the future, holy word, creative word. Salam is the word that, in the desert, conjures the enemy silences and the dunes of blood. A word of future and hope that connects and cauterizes the wound of a broken communion. In a world of pandemics and ever more acute manifestations of the prophecies of collapsology, the gala of the IDEO of this Wednesday March 30ᵗʰ shared something of these originel parties, we experienced it not as the homo festivus who seeks by the festival to ward off the emptiness or let his mind go blank, but in the spirit of the rooting of the being with, of the being with all, even with the absent ones. To be together, to exchange the word of peace to extinguish the speeches and the wars that hide or bury the faces of men and women that some would like to see disappear, to be together to build and rebuild together.

Lectures

On March 4ᵗʰ, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a lecture entitled “Friendship between natural enemies. Thematization of friendship from Ibn al-Muqaffaʿ to the Iḫwān al-ṣafā”, in the seminar “Enemies and friends: ‘the other’ in the Muslim world”, organized at the Faculty of Historical Sciences of the University of Strasbourg.

Courses

From February 14ᵗʰ to March 4ᵗʰ, Dennis Halft, OP taught a classroom course entitled “Shi‘a texts on interreligious meetings, written by Muḥammad Ǧawād al-Balāġī (d. 1933)”, at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome.

From March 7ᵗʰ to 26ᵗʰ, Adrien Candiard, OP gave an online course on Islamic theological texts at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) in Rome: “Testi di teologia islamica: al-qaḍāʾ wa-l-qadar”.

On March 14ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP started to give a six-session online course on the topic of “Islam and Otherness” at the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions in Paris (ISTR).

IDEO seminar

On March 15ᵗʰ, the IDEO resumed its seminars with Professor Youssouf Sangaré on the topic of “The Islamic heritage under debate”. This seminar is organized by the IDEO as part of the project Adawāt.

Conferences and study days

On March 18ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the conference “Religions and nationalism”, organized by the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions in Paris (ISTR), as well as in the study day organized on March 23ʳᵈ by the French Ministry of the Interior for the world of research and administrations.

Nomination

On March 21ˢᵗ, Mateus Domingues da Silva, OP and René du Grandlaunay, OP were appointed by the Master of the Dominican Order as members of the committee of librarians to think about and define the mission of Dominican libraries, according to the General Chapter of Biên Hòa (ACG 2019 Biên Hòa, 323).

Library

From March 8ᵗʰ to 23ʳᵈ, Ms. Juliette Chevée, class of 2021, museum specialty at the National Heritage Institute, completed her internship at the library of the IDEO.

On March 27ᵗʰ, Mrs. Engy Elgammal, the cataloging director at the IDEO’s library, participated in the Annual Conference for Excellence in Undergraduate Research, Entrepreneurship and Creative Achievement (EURECA), organized by the American University in Cairo. Our interns, Mr. Samuel Gillette, Mr. Joshua Wainner and Mr. Rafael Ordonez, presented their work at the IDEO and the specificities of our cataloguing. The discussions focused on the evaluation of our contribution to the education process of the Egyptian community.

On March 31ˢᵗ, Mateus Domingues Da Silva, OP director of the IDEO’s library, Mrs. Engy Elgammal, director of the cataloging department, Mr. Magdy Yackoub, developer of the Diamond cataloging application, and Mr. Emad Habib, head of the manuscript cataloging team at the Arab Manuscripts Institute, participated in the International Day of the Arabic Manuscript in order to present the outcome of the European Union funded project of cataloging more than 6,000 manuscripts in Diamond according to the FRBR/RAD standards. Click here to view these manuscripts records…

Visits

On March 8ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mrs. Graziella Rizza, from the Delegation of the European Union in Cairo.

From March 12ᵗʰ to 16ᵗʰ, we received Professor Youssouf Sangaré, lecturer at the University of Clermont-Auvergne in order to, give a talk at the French Language Teaching Center and the Faculty of Humanities at al-Azhar, and to lead a seminar at the IDEO on the turāth.

On March 8ᵗʰ and 31ˢᵗ, we welcomed around twenty Indonesian students enrolled in the faculties of al-Azhar in order to present them our library and the mission of our Institute.

Scholars’ House

In March 2022, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Mr. Simon Conrad, PhD student in Islamic Studies at Princeton University, Professor Andreas Kaplony and Professor Rocio Daga accompanied by a group of Master students from the Institute for Near and Middle East Studies at the Ludwig-Maximilian University in Munich, Germany.

Publications

Dominique Avon, L’histoire religieuse contemporaine en France, Paris, Éditions La Découverte, 2022, 295 pages.

Guillaume de Vaulx, Identités de papier. Essai documenté sur la logique identitaire, Liban, Dergham, 2022, 376 pages.

Upcoming activities

On April 10ᵗʰ, Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen will give a lecture, as part of the “Midan Mounira” lectures series, on the topic of “Pilgrimages in Islam: the example of Egyptian Islam” (in French with Arabic simultaneous translation). This lecture will take place at the IFAO from 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. You can join the lecture online.

On November 16ᵗʰ and 17ᵗʰ, 2022, the Orient and Mediterranean laboratory will organize the international conference “Animals as Worshipers of God First of All. On Animal Piety in Islam”. The conference is under the scientific direction of Guillaume de Vaulx and in partnership with the French Ministry of the Interior, section of religious affairs and the National Center for Scientific Research. 

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Newsletter February-March 2022

The 53ʳᵈ Cairo International Book Fair ended with the memory of evenings dedicated to poetry and Arabic calligraphy, and multiple educational suggestions for the youngest. We were delighted by these wonderful initiations. However, as we walked through this prodigious maze of corridors strewn with mounds of books, we wondered if we were not also witnessing a form of reduction in Islamic publications that long ago made the reputation of this event. Year after year, the reality of secularization seems to be surreptitiously rooted in the Egyptian world and to be more and more visible. Whatever the case for the IDEO and its library, the Fair is always a must! Our late brother Emilio Platti had already asked for his ticket last August. He would not have missed the Book fair for anything in the world. The Book fair… what a weird expression! The idea of a fair fits so badly with the act of reading. Although, on thinking about it, just as we turn a book over and over again before buying it, or ask publishers about their new and reprinted books, researchers know that we must turn over and over again the words of the books on which are listed the high thoughts of the philosophy, theology or mysticism of previous eras. To think and rethink over and over, to contextualize, to ask in the hope that a glimmer, a light, maybe a fire, will emerge and will challenge our knowledge and open us up to a better understanding and let us discover the hidden secret of these words from other times and other people. Books call for other books, those of commentaries and those of commentaries of commentaries. It is the brilliant intuition of our new way of cataloging to establish the relationships that cross time between works and authors. Books that contradict each other, books that answer each other, books that, let’s admit it, are sometimes unreadable. Through reading, exploring, getting back to a word, a concept, or the statement presented on the fabric of a flavescent page, and through searching for the semantic resonance in its historical context, and the evocative power of an ante-Islamic poem or the political and religious allusions of the Dīwāns, the researcher progresses, and science progresses with him as well. The work is salutary because, as the poet says, “reading reintroduces lazy minds into the spiritual life”. In books we find an impulse that comes from someone else to join us from the depths of the ages in a moment of loneliness, where they speak to us, and we listen to them. There we meet our neighbor, sometimes far away in time and space; we discover his taste in things, his interesting ideas, his crazy, worrying or terribly scary world. But homo legens is always on the move. Reading to Islamic thinkers does not make a Dominican a Muslim, but we can’t say it doesn’t have an impact. Perhaps that is why Father Farid Jabre was once accused of becoming a disciple of al-Ġazālī. The quick judgment is a bit undue, but by his constant reading, the Lazarist scholar had already known, how to understand al-Ġazālī and finally made him contemporary.

Lectures and contributions

On February 13ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in an online lecture entitled “Brotherhood, from one shore to the other of the Mediterranean” as part of the international day of universal brotherhood organized by the Friends of the IDEO and the French association Chrétiens en Méditerranée. Watch the video on YouTube… (in French)

On February 23ʳᵈ, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a talk entitled “The case of ḥayawān versus insān in the Epistles of the Iḫwān al-ṣafā. The long trip and arduous journey in understanding these three words”, in the seminar “Animals in the philosophy of the Islamic world”, organized by the University of Munich in Germany. 

Visits

On February 8ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Claire de Galembert, researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in political sciences. She gave us her thesis dedicated to Father Anawati, and donated to the library her last two books De la religion en prison (2016) and Islam et prison (2020).

From February 3ʳᵈ to 17ᵗʰ, we received Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP director of the French School for Biblical and Archaeological Studies in Jerusalem (EBAF) and Anthony Giambrone, OP vice-director and director of studies.

On February 16ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Richard McGregor, Associate Professor in the department of Religious Studies at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee, USA.

On February 16ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Ilaria Betti from the section, Human Rights, Civil Society, Gender, Migration, Security and Governance, of the Delegation of the European Union in Egypt.

On the same day, February 16ᵗʰ, we invited Professors Oussama Nabil and Mona Sabry from al-Azhar University and partners in the project Adawāt.

Scholars’ House

In February 2022, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Ms. Louise Gallorini, who recently completed her PhD in medieval Arabic literature at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, Ms. Lilli Baručić, a master’s student in Islamic studies at the American University in Cairo, Mr. Jean-Roch Dumont, student curator of museums in training at the Museum of Egyptian civilization, and Ms. Madeleine Guillermit, a medical student who is volunteering this year at the French NGO Œuvre d’Orient.

Article on the IDEO

David Hoekema, “The Dominican Friars whose Library is Transforming Islamic Studies. How a rare books collection in Cairo expanded into a Center for scholarship and interfaith conversation”, Christian Century, February 11ᵗʰ, 2022.

Upcoming Activities

Starting March 14ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP will give a six-session online course on the topic of “Islam and Otherness” at the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions in Paris (ISTR), every Monday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Paris time). To register as an auditor, please contact (in French): ">

On March 15ᵗʰ, the IDEO will resume its seminars with Professor Youssouf Sangaré on the topic of “The Islamic heritage under debate”. This seminar is organized by the IDEO as part of the Adawāt project and will take place in the seminar room at 5:00 p.m.

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Newsletter January-February 2022

Happy are the Islamic Scholars who probe the literature of lovers! Simply open the edition of Leyli and Majnûn which has just been published to understand that it is not a rhetorical bliss. What a beautiful book, and how the translation is fine, subtle, poetic, inebriating, touching. It is signed by our colleague from the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO), Leili Anvar who, once again, brightens us up with her pen and her carefully chosen words to express the search for truth and beauty within harmonic and musical combinations that join the deep meaning of Persian words. Throughout its history, the researchers of the IDEO, following the example of Serge de Beaurecueil, Giuseppe Scattolin and Alberto Ambrosio, did not fail to scrutinize the best stories, those of love and lovers. These stories narrate a spiritual journey, a yearning of the soul for union, and a graceful guidance. But if this ecstasy experienced by lovers can partly reveal the sublime reality of God, would God himself be love? And can we sincerely love God since human love is so fleeting and ambivalent? Didn’t Louis Massignon say during an interview on France Culture that “We love our infidelities”? However, the figures of the mystical lover tend towards that of apparent beauty to the point that God could be seen, in a radical reading, as the only one worthy of being loved. What is to be found through the twists and turns of theological discussions on the Lover and the Beloved, in the interstices of love stories and metaphors, in these contrasting and paradoxical spiritual expressions that run through the Islamic heritage, is the revelation of an ontological dignity, that of man in search of Love.

*Leyli et Majnûn of Jâmi illustrated by oriental miniatures, translation from Persian and notes by Leili Anvar, Preface by Leili Anvar, scientific direction of the iconography, introductions and comments of the works by Patrick Ringgenberg and Amina Taha-Hussein Okada, Paris, Diane de Selliers, 2021.

Contributions

On January 11ᵗʰ, Dennis Halft, OP gave an online talk entitled “Muslim Perspectives on the Holy Land” during a research program on Jewish-Christian dialogue at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

On January 20ᵗʰ, Mr. Dominque Avon made a contribution entitled “Jacques Ellul and Islam. Analysis of a speech and its reception”, during the conference “Protestantism and Islam, comparative points of view (16ᵗʰ/-21ˢᵗ centuries)”, organized by the Protestant Institute of Theology at the Faculty of Paris.

“Midan Mounira” lecture

On January 25ᵗʰ, Professor Jaafar Ben el Haj Soulami gave an online lecture as part of the “Midan Mounira” series, co-organized by the IDEO, the CEDEJ, the IFAO and the IFE. This lecture was entitled “Is Islamic Sufism essentially poetic?” Read the report and watch the lecture (in French…)

IFAO-IDEO (pre-)doctoral scholarship 2022‒2023

The IFAO and the IDEO are pleased to announce the release of the call for applications for their joint ten-month scholarship in Cairo (September 2022June 2023). This scholarship is open to Pre- PhD and PhD students in kalām, falsafa and classical Arabic linguistics. Deadline for applications: April 30ᵗʰ, 2022. For more information (in French…)

Volunteering

The IDEO offers an opportunity for a young French or English speaker to complete a volunteer mission for 6 or 12 months starting from September 2022 in the Dominican brothers’ convent. Please check the job description on our website (in French)…

Visits

On January 26ᵗʰ, we welcomed a group of thirty people from the French-speaking association Caire Accueil for a visit of the IDEO and a presentation of the meaning of the Dominican presence in Egypt.

Scholars’ House

In December we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Ms. Ida Nitter, PhD student in Islamic studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Antoinette Ferrand, PhD student in the history of contemporary Egypt at the Sorbonne University, and Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, IDEO’s member and Professor of modern and contemporary history of the Arab and Islamic world at the Sorbonne University.

Cairo International Book Fair

The Cairo International Book Fair started on Wednesday January 26ᵗʰ. The entire library team is mobilized, under the direction of Mr. Magdi Azab.

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Newsletter December-January 2022

During a study trip organized by the French NGO Œuvre d’Orient, which supports the activities of the IDEO, a visitor asked Jean Druel, O.P: What would change if we did not exist? This is a relevant question, if not a bit thorny. For it is true, what would it change? or, in other words, what do we provide? At a time when Christians celebrate the Epiphany, the tradition that three wise men came from the East, could help us answer. Were they really kings? It is unlikely, but certainly they were learned persons and we are here somewhat like them. Firstly, we are on a journey, which means that our research, our multiple collaborations with Muslims and religious or secular academic institutions, contribute to a world in the making. Not entropy but openness, not repetition nor immobility but “impetus”, as by the expression of the French philosopher Henri Bergson. Magi… and therefore also wise men, which is why we want to be like them, because wisdom is as precious as Gaspar’s gold. For Melchior’s myrrh and its medicinal properties, we contribute in our mission to heal wounded memories by our presence and our daily conversation with Muslims. Finally, as Balthazar brings the incense used since ancient times to raise praise, it is for us to praise all that is good and generous in the other. The incense eventually disappears and becomes invisible, so that we might think that if it didn’t exist, it wouldn’t make any difference, but it is there, and its fragrant smell fills every space. The wise men thought they would find power and force, but they did not find much, only a child born in a manger. But this “not much” is everything, an epiphany, the extreme fragility in the light. Simple imaginary story or powerful truth? Dear friends and donors, to whom we wish a wonderful year 2022, know that if we do not claim to revolutionize the world or even bring peace to it, we believe that it is from where we are, in the depths of fragility, that we contribute to peace and to its universality that illuminates space and time.

IDEO scholarships

The IDEO offers ten introductory courses in Islamic studies through the Arabic language for Dominican brothers in formation, from July 16ᵗʰ to August 14ᵗʰ, 2022. The scholarship includes classroom courses, private tutoring, visits (Islamic Cairo, mosques and museums), exchanges with Egyptian thinkers, meetings with young Muslims and Christians within the framework of the Dominican youth, a weekend in Alexandria and the visit of the Alexandrina Library, full-board accommodation and the possibility of arranging for the flight ticket. For any request of the application documents, please contact: .

Thanks to the support of many donors including Spem miram internationalis, the IDEO offers five scholarships for Dominican brothers to obtain a canonical degree in Arabic and Islamic studies at the beginning of the new academic year in September 2022. The scholarship covers the registration fees, full-board accommodation at the Dominican priory in Cairo, transportation and related expenses except for social insurance costs. For all information and requests, please contact: . The deadline for application is March 1ˢᵗ, 2022.

Lectures and talks

On December 3ʳᵈ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a talk in Toulon entitled “The mosque: foundations, developments and adaptations of a place in the service of believers”, as part of the study day “Heritage and religious architecture” organized by the diocesan direction of Catholic Education in the Var, France.

On December 7ᵗʰ, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a lecture entitled “Humans are a problem for humans. The theological framework of the formalization of the concept of insān in the 9ᵗʰ‒10ᵗʰ centuries”, in the seminar “Man and his representations in Islam”, organized by the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Paris.

On December 7ᵗʰ, 2021, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “Prayer in the major religions of the world”, during the launching of the Luxembourg exhibition “Pray” at the VHS School in Trier, Germany.

On December 9ᵗʰ, 2021, Jean Druel, OP gave an online lecture to the Dominican brothers and sisters of the Province of India entitled “What to expect from the theological dialogue with Muslims?”. Click here to watch the lecture on our YouTube channel… (in English)

Visits

On December 9ᵗʰ, we welcomed Professor Denis Darpy, president of the French University of Egypt.

On December 12ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Michał Chabros, First Counsellor of the Polish Embassy in Egypt.

On December 13ᵗʰ, we welcomed M. Marc Baréty, French Ambassador, accompanied by his wife.

On December 14ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Thomas Würtz, Assistant Director of the Oriental Institute in Beirut.

On December 14ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mrs. Marie-Pierre Wynands, director of the Vauban University Library (Catholic University of Lille, France).

The Scholars’ House

In December we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Professor David Hollenberg, Associate Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Oregon, Department of Religious Studies, and Mrs. Yakota Gobran, PhD in the history of Islamic thought at the French National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO) in Paris.

Publications

Upcoming activities

On January 11ᵗʰ, Dennis Halft, OP will give an online talk entitled “Muslim Perspectives on the Holy Land” during a research program on Jewish-Christian dialogue at the University of Salzburg in Austria.

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Newsletter November-December 2021

Dear friends,

For several months, in Cairo, bridges have sprouted up like mushrooms. They are sometimes so close to the houses that on days of traffic jams, coffee could be served to the drivers from the balconies. At the IDEO, the idea of bridges is somehow our philosophy because we also want to build bridges between reason and religion, Islam and Christianity, knowledge and narrative, hominescence and humanism. Faced with the rantings of ideological walls, fortified castles, skyscrapers with vertical pretensions which are reminiscent of Babel, we bring our stone, modest though it may be, to build bridges in the horizontal level of universal brotherhood. Through study and research, we explore the wounds that need to be healed, we reconcile dispersed men and women, we translate to dispel misunderstandings and, from heritage resources, we bring out the seeds of unity. Our scholars do not make much noise, but by building these bridges, we can finally hope to reach the another on the other side. This is the mystery of Christmas, the mystery of Christ, who makes himself a bridge between heaven and earth, a bridge between men and women, his brothers and sisters.

Lectures

On November 6ᵗʰ, Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “Birth and death according to a Human Way. A history of religion and freedom”, as part of the French Forum Philo Le Monde-Le Mans.

On November 15ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Catholic Islamic studies. Itinerary of a century”, as part of a series of lectures organized by the Friends of the IDEO in Paris.

On November 18ᵗʰ, Adrien Candiard, OP gave a lecture entitled “Ibn Taymiyya, a figure of authority for today?”, during the conference “The religious authority in Islam: authority and regulation”, organized by the Center for Studies of Cultures and Religions at the Catholic University of Lyon in France.

On November 18ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “al-Ġazālī, figure of magisterial authority in Islam?” during the conference “The religious authority in Islam: authority and regulation”, organized by the Center for Studies of Cultures and Religions at the Catholic University of Lyon in France.

On November 18ᵗʰ, Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “Sunnī authorities in the Arab World at the turn of the 20ᵗʰ and 21ˢᵗ centuries” during the conference “The religious authority in Islam: authority and regulation”, organized by the Center for Studies of Cultures and Religions at the Catholic University of Lyon in France.

On November 18ᵗʰ, Guillaume de Vaulx gave a lecture entitled “The epistle on Animals by the Brethren in Purity (Iḫwān al-ṣafā). The animal as the touchstone of anthropology, man as the principle of zoology, and when the religiosity of the first face the religion of the second”, in the seminar “Between East, West and Islam. Art, archeology and images”, organized by the French Higher Study School in Human Sciences (EHESS).

On November 19ᵗʰ, Adrien Candiard, OP gave a lecture entitled “The Salaf, theological and mythical figure, in the Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328)”, during the conference “Theological disputes between ašʿarites and ḥanbalites”, organized in Paris by the National Institute for Oriental Languages and Civilizations (INALCO).

On November 19ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “The classical commentaries on so-called pluralist Qurʾānic verses”, during the conference “Theology of pluralism in Islam”, organized by the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions at the Catholic University in Paris.

On November 22ⁿᵈ, Dominique Avon gave a lecture at the Pierre Renouvin Institute of the Paris I Pantheon-Sorbonne University entitled “Freedom of conscience: international consensus and dissensus”.

On November 23ʳᵈ, Jean Druel, OP delivered the introductory talk at a conference organized on November 23ʳᵈ and 24ᵗʰ in Alexandria by the École des chartes and the Senghor University entitled “Islamic Manuscripts: materiality, uses, compared traditions in Africa and the Middle East”. Watch the video on YouTube (in French…)

Round tables

On November 18ᵗʰ, Adrien Candiard, OP participated in a round table entitled “Religions and the crisis”, organized by the University of Louvain-la-Neuve in Belgium as part of the “Night of the Religions”.

On November 22ⁿᵈ, Dennis Halft, OP participated in a round table entitled “Shiite theology in dialogue with Christian theology”, organized by the Evangelical Church in Germany at the Missionsakademie of the University of Hamburg.

Online course

On November 25ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP gave an online course on the history of Qurʾānic recitation (taǧwīd) as part of a preparation course for the selection of the Arabic language teachers (agrégation). Click here to listen to the course… (in French)

Awards

On November 15ᵗʰ, Jean-Jacques Pérennès, OP was awarded the title of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Faculty of Theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland.

Pieter Coppens received the “Honorable Mention 2021” award from the Syrian Studies Association for his article published in MIDEO 36 (2021): “A Silent uṣūl Revolution? Al-Qāsimī, Iǧtihād, and the Fundamentals of tafsīr, p. 21‒61.

Visits

On November 11ᵗʰ, we welcomed a group of pilgrims who visited Egypt as part of a trip organized by the French weekly La Vie.

On November 28ᵗʰ, we welcomed a group of donors from the French NGO Œuvre d’Orient who visited the projects funded by the association.

Scholars’ House

In November we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Ms. Tal Tamari, research director at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) in Bamako, specialist in West African religious anthropology.

Recensions

  • Emmanuel Pisani: Christian Jambet, Le philosophe et son guide, Mullâ Sadrâ et la religion philosophique, Paris, Gallimard, Études 4287, novembre 2021, p. 141‒142.
  • Emmanuel Pisani: Chems-eddine Hafiz, Le manifeste contre le terrorisme islamiste. Écoutez-moi ! Paris, Érick Bonnier, Études 4287, novembre 2021, p. 142‒143.

Publications

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Newsletter October-November 2021

Dear friends,

Intended by King Fuʾād, the so-called 1924 Cairo edition of the Qurʾān was published under the scientific authority of an al-Azhar committee. It has become so popular throughout the Arab world that it is often considered to be the standard edition of the Qurʾān. Thus, it has become the reference in academic circles and constitutes the model of editions in the possession of a large number of Muslims for their prayer life. But is the quality attributed to this edition confirmed? Can we really talk about a standard edition? In what context did this edition emerge and who was its audience then? Has this edition really imposed itself on the entire Islamic world? And besides, did this Qurʾān wished by king Fuʾād indeed appear in 1924? In order to discuss these questions, a conference on this edition of the Qurʾān was held for the first time. The 2021 issue of MIDEO will bear witness of the quality of the various communications in a dedicated thematic section. Meanwhile, it is noticeable that al-Azhar is working on an internal translation of the Coran des historiens (Paris: Cerf, 2019). This translation, as emeritus professor Oussama Nabil informed us, will facilitate its access to the Azhari students in Islamic studies. It is easy to imagine that they will thus give rise to a critical reception. Criticism which, in its objectivity, guarantees and inscribes itself in the interdisciplinarity of our research. Without this, there is a risk of giving reason to the partisans of the “asymmetry of knowledge” whose position, as Dominicans, we do not share.

Contributions

On October 6ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP lead the online seminar “Religion, Law and Economy in the Mediterranean Space” at the University of Insubria with the contributions of Anna Hager (Vienna) and Wael Saleh (UAE).

On October 17ᵗʰ, Mr. Aziz Hilal made a contribution entitled “Why wait until 1924 to print an official edition of the Qurʾān?”, during the conference organized by the IDEO on The Cairo Edition of the Qurʾān. Read the report here…

On October 26ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP gave a lecture during the conference of the MELA Cataloguing Committee on the topic of “Cataloging manuscripts in the IFLA-LRM model”.

Thesis jury

On October 15ᵗʰ, Jean Druel, OP participated as a member of the jury of Mr. Julien Sibileau, who defended a PhD thesis at INALCO entitled “An endeavor to legitimize Arabic grammar: the Ḫaṣāʾiṣ of Ibn Ǧinnī (m. 392/1002)” under the supervision of Mrs. Georgine Ayoub.

Visits

On October 5ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Muhammed Ghazi, Dean of the Faculty of Languages and Translation of al-Azhar University, Mr. Abdel Rahman Fuda, Head of the French Department and Assistant Dean of the Faculty, Mr. Oussama Nabil, Professor Emeritus, and Professors Sami Manḍour and Magdi Adli.

On October 13ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Moussa Abou Ramadan, Professor of Islamic law and Islamic studies at the University of Strasbourg.

On October 14ᵗʰ, we welcomed Professor Mehdi Ghouirgate, lecturer at Bordeaux-Montaigne University and director of the Arabic Studies Department of the same university, as well as Doctor Ephrem Aboud Ishac, researcher from the Institute of Ecumenical Theology, Patrology and Eastern Orthodoxy of the University of Graz.

On October 19ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Farid Kioumgi Kahil, specialist in the travel and pilgrimage literature in the Middle East. He was accompanied by Ms. Tamara Chalabi, Iraqi-Lebanese writer, and daughter of a former Iraqi minister. She narrated the family odyssey in Late for Tea at the Deer Palace (London, HarperPress, 2010).

On October 26ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mrs. Sabine Kroissenbrunner, Head of Mission at the Austrian Embassy and Director of the Austrian Cultural Forum.

On October 27ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Abbès Zouache, director of studies at the IFAO.

On October 29th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Éléonore Cellard, from the Collège de France, specialist in Qurʾānic manuscripts.

Scholars’ House

In October, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Ms. Laure Pesquet, PhD student in contemporary history at Paris-Sorbonne University and fellow at IFAO, Mr. José Javier Martínez, PhD student in archeology at the University of Murcia (Spain), Ms. Ida Nitter, PhD student in Islamic studies at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Asma Hilali, lecturer in Islamic studies at the University of Lille, Mr. Youssef Elzalabany, in a research year in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, and Mr. Eudes Guénois, Pre-PhD student in Arabic philosophy at Paris-Sorbonne University.

Upcoming Activities

On November 18ᵗʰ-19ᵗʰ, the conference “Religious authority in Islam: authority and regulation” will be held at the Catholic University of Lyon, Adrien Candiard, OP and Emmanuel Pisani, OP are among the speakers.

On November 19ᵗʰ-20ᵗʰ, the conference “Islam and Otherness. What Islamic theology of religious pluralism?” will be held at the Catholic Institute of Paris and under the supervision of Emmanuel Pisani, OP.

On November 23ʳᵈ, Jean Druel, OP will deliver the introductory talk at a conference organized on November 23ʳᵈ and 24ᵗʰ in Alexandria by the École des chartes and the Senghor University entitled “Islamic Manuscripts: materiality, uses, compared traditions in Africa and the Middle East”.

Publications

  • Emmanuel Pisani, Dominique Schneider, « Le dialogue avec l’islam. De Ratisbonne à Abu Dhabi », Transversalités 4, n° 159, 2021, pp.171-174.
  • جيوم دڤو ونبراس شحيّد، التدميريّة تشكيليًّا: قراءاتٌ فلسفيّة في الفنّ السوريّ المعاصر، منشورات المعهد الفرنسيّ للشرق الأدنى، بيروت، ٢٠٢١، ٢٥١ صفحة.

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Newsletter — September 2021

Dear friends,

In September, we welcomed the President and the Secretary General of the association “The Friends of the IDEO”. Jean Félix-Paganon knows Cairo well. He was an ambassador here. Bertrand Wallon knows the library world well. He was Director of Human Resources at the French National Library. It is unnecessary to say that their presence and their encouragement were very precious to us. Their suggestions and advice stimulated us, and their questions often allowed us to see things differently, outside the box. How important are questions in discussions and reflection! It is said in Islamic tradition, which has a certain Talmudic echo, that one evening an old shaykh, in love with wisdom and science, was in tears. Why are you crying, o holy old man? Because today nobody asked me any questions*! Questions, thanks God, friends have asked us! In this regard, if you would like to get involved with us or support our activities in Cairo, you may become an member of the association “The Friends of the IDEO”. In addition, and it is always good to know, by joining, you can benefit from substantial tax deductions in France, in the United States. Thank you in advance.

* Ghazālī, Kitāb al-ʿilm, al-Qāhira, Dār al-Salām, 2007, B1, f. 3, p. 20.

Lecture

On September 11ᵗʰ, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture in Berlin on an Orthodox Jewish perspective on Christianity and Islam after the Shoah from the writings of André Neher (1914-1988), as part of an international conference entitled “Glorification of differences” (Michel de Certeau SJ) which honored the birthday of Ulrich Engel, OP.

Visits

On September 3ʳᵈ, we welcomed a group of twenty people from the Center Sard, that works on archiving the Shubra district.

On September 5ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mrs. Siga Maguiraga, PhD student in History of Islamicate Worlds at the European University Institute in Florence (Italy).

On September 14ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Nadir Boudjellal, PhD student at the INALCO in Paris, and who works on isolated letters in the Qurʾān.

On September 15ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Mourad al-Riffi, the new director of the Institute of Arab Manuscripts, who arrived three weeks ago in Cairo.

On September 18ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Oussama Nabil, Chargé de Mission at the Mashyakha and committed to al-Azhar Observatory for Combating Extremism, and Mr. Sami Mandour, professor at the Faculty of Languages and Translation at the University of al-Azhar.

On September 20ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Said Azer, director of the Syro-Catholic library in Cairo and his assistant, Mr. Carlo Pietro Giorgi, along with Father Vincenzo Ianniello, director and librarian of the Franciscan Center for Oriental Christian Studies (Mousky).

On September 21ˢᵗ, we welcomed Mrs. Mona Sabry, director of the French Language Teaching Center of al-Azhar.

From September 25ᵗʰ‒29ᵗʰ, we welcomed Mr. Jean Félix-Paganon and Mr. Bertrand Wallon from the association “The Friends of the IDEO”, along with Mr. François Druel, who is currently launching the association “LRM Cataloging Solutions” that takes over the development and distribution of the application Diamond.

From September 26ᵗʰ‒28ᵗʰ, we also received Nicolas Tixier, OP the Provincial of Province of France, and from September 26ᵗʰ‒30ᵗʰ, Rémi Chéno, OP, regent of studies.

Scholars’ House

On September 25ᵗʰ, the IFAO/IDEO intern, Mickaël Massey, has arrived at the Scholars’ House for a year-long stay of research.

Upcoming Activities

On October 16ᵗʰ and 17ᵗʰ, 2021, the IDEO is organizing in Cairo its fourth conference entitled “The Cairo Edition of the Qurʾān, 1924”. The conference is under the scientific direction of Mrs. Asma Hilali, and in partnership with the European Union as part of the project Adawāt. Click here to download the program and to join us online …

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Newsletter — July-August 2021

Dear friends,

In this new academic year, our institutions are going through many departures and arrivals. The brothers of IDEO living in Cairo are not immune to these movements. Mateus Domingues da Silva, OP our new librarian, will leave for France to follow the Mediadix training course at the University of Nanterre in order to acquire the skills in cataloging techniques and library management, in order to respond with ease and professionalism to the subtleties and requirements of our library. He will return back to IDEO by the end of May 2022, having completed a few training courses at the French National Library (BnF) and the Saulchoir Library. Emmanuel Pisani, OP has left the leadership of the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions in Paris (ISTR) to travel to Cairo and to take over the leadership of our Institute from Jean Druel, OP who leaves a position full of projects and rich perspectives. Paul Akpomie, OP (Nigeria) has completed the training program he began five years ago in Arabic and Islamic studies, he will leave Cairo by the end of the month. We are also waiting for brother Toffique Younes to return back from Pakistan at the same time. The community of brothers in Cairo will definitely be somewhat reduced this year, but this is to better respond to our mission in the future.

Lectures

On July 6th, Mr. Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “Authority relations and individual rights. Two challenges for contemporary Islamic education”, as part of the training course for prison chaplains and religious mediators co-organized by the Institute for Islamic Studies and Societies of the Muslim World (IISMM).

On July 7th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Islamic studies as resource against the Islamic Fundamentalisms”, as part of the training course of prison chaplains and religious mediators co-organized by the Institute for Islamic Studies and Societies of the Muslim World (IISMM).

Seminar

On July 5th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a seminar session on the topic of “Hospitality in Islam and in other religions” with the staff of QPR (Quartier de Prise en charge de la Radicalisation) in the Santé Prison.

Scholars’House

In August, we had the pleasure to receive in the Scholars’ House Ms. Antoinette Ferrand, PhD student in the history of contemporary Egypt at Sorbonne-Université.

Publications

  • Guillaume de Vaulx, Le Procès animal de la domination humaine, Fable tirée des Épitres des Frères en Pureté (Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-ṣafā), Paris : Les Belles Lettres, 2021, 346 pages.

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Newsletter — June & July 2021

Dear friends,

While no one believed it anymore, the 52ⁿᵈ edition of the Book Fair took place in Cairo from June 30ᵗʰ to July 15ᵗʰ.  Aside from the masks, which are mandatory, nothing has changed. Hundreds of booksellers from the Arab world are present, thousands of visitors and a festive atmosphere despite the extreme heat outside the halls. The library team patiently went through the four huge air-conditioned halls, systematically visited the 756 booths and worked so hard to acquire more than 1,000 titles (1,800 volumes), in the field of Classical Arabic and Islamic heritage.

We are also pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of MIDEO (36, 2021), dedicated to iǧtihād and taqlīd (independent thinking and submission to the argument of authority). It is fully available online.

Conference

From June 2ⁿᵈ‒4ᵗʰ, Ms. Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau co-organized with Ms. Mathilde Boudier, from the University of Paris‒1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, an international conference entitled “Umayyad Syria: A Context for the Qurʾān?”, which took place in the University of Strasbourg. Click here to watch the conference on YouTube (in French)…

Lectures

From June 7‒9ᵗʰ, the 9ᵗʰ edition of Alexandria Festival “Writing the Mediterranean” entitled “Return to Philosophy” was held. Mr. Aziz Hilal led a philosophical discussion on the beginnings of Arab Philosophy and animated a session on the topic of “The Humanistic Heritage and the Contribution of the Arabs”.

On June 11ᵗʰ, Mr. Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “The Great Imām of al-Azhar, Islam and the Humanities. Historical Perspective of Some Declarations (2010‒2020)”, as part of the European seminar coordinated by Emmanuel Pisani, OP “Dynamics and challenges of the revival of Islamic Studies in Europe”.

On June 28ᵗʰ, Mr. Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “Muḥammad al-Ġazālī vs Ignaz Goldziher: A Historiographical Issue”, as part of the 4ᵗʰ conference of the GIS-MOMM (Middle East and Islamic Worlds).

Library Extension Project

From June 14ᵗʰ‒23ʳᵈ, Charles Desjobert, OP, architect specialized in historical buildings, came to Cairo in order to study the current buildings of the library and the priory and to make proposals for the extension of the stores and a better use of the premises.

Visits

On June 18ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Sylvie Hekimyan de Mirbeck from the travel agency Bipel, as part of a preparation trip for pilgrimages to Egypt.

On June 26ᵗʰ, we welcomed Ms. Hanan Sabea, professor of anthropology at the American University in Cairo, who accompanied a group of Egyptian NewGen scholars (photo). The Arab Council for Social Sciences offers scholarships to young students of all disciplines, the New Generation of Social Scientists, and organizes trainings in the human sciences.

On July 14ᵗʰ, we received the visit of Mr. Salem al-Zurayqani, Libyan publisher.

Scholars’ House

From July 3ʳᵈ‒10ᵗʰ, we received in the Scholars’ House Ms. Géraldine Chatelard, in charge of the cooperation with the Middle East at the French National Library.

Publications

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Newsletter — May 2021

Dear friends,

The year 2021 will definitely be a year of changes in our team in Cairo. After twenty-four years as director of the IDEO’s library, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP passes the torch to Mateus Domingues Da Silva, OP (photo) and takes a few sabbatical months. Through his efforts and uninterrupted work, René-Vincent has not only opened up the library’s acquisition policy to the Arab World in general, but he has also developed a cataloguing application capable of honoring the genius of the Arab-Muslim heritage and has built a working team of more than fifteen persons today.

Mateus is Brazilian. He has just defended his doctoral thesis on the mystical philosopher Šihāb al-Dīn al-Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191) at McGill University, Montreal under the supervision of Robert Wisnovsky. We wish him all the best in the task ahead and we assure him of the support of the whole team. To help him in his responsibilities, he will be assisted by Ms. Engy Elgammal, who will succeed Mr. Mohamed Malchouch in September as cataloging director.

Lectures

On May 12ᵗʰ, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in the Popular Digital University organized by the Foundation of Islam in France (FIF) with Mr. Omero Marongiu and Mr. Ghaleb Bencheikh, on the topic of “Spiritualties facing the ecological question”. Click here to watch the video on the FIF Facebook page (in French)…

On May 17ᵗʰ, Mr. Dominique Avon gave a lecture entitled “Freedom of conscience in Egypt and in the whole Arab World”, organized by the Friends of the IDEO. Click here to watch the lecture on YouTube (in French)…

On May 21ˢᵗ, Emilio Platti, OP gave an online lecture entitled “An assessment of Llull’s interreligious endeavors from a contemporary perspective”, during the conference organized by the KU Leuven university on Ramon Llull.

Research seminar

On May 21ˢᵗ, as part of the research seminar ”Representations of Islam: views and panchronic experiences” organized at the University of Strasbourg, Ms. Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau and Ms. Salomé Deboos invited Mr. Pierre Lory from the École pratique des Hautes-Études to speak on the topic of “Origins and development of Islamic mysticism (2ⁿᵈ‒4ᵗʰ/8ᵗʰ‒10ᵗʰ centuries)”.

IFAO-IDEO (pre-)doctoral scholarship 2021‒2022

We are pleased to announce the grant of the third edition of the joint IFAO-IDEO (pre-)doctoral scholarship to Mr. Mickael Massey, from the University of Strasbourg. His research project focuses on 6ᵗʰ/12ᵗʰ-century Andalusian literature (adab): methods of compiling knowledge, collections of prose and anthologies.

Workshop

On May 19ᵗʰ, Mr. Emad Habib, head of the manuscript cataloging team at the Arab Manuscripts Institute, Mr. Magdy Yackoub, developer of the Diamond cataloging application, and Jean Druel, OP led a workshop at the IFAO on manuscripts cataloging for a group of Coptic Orthodox monks.

Publications

  • Guillaume de Vaulx et Nibras Chehayed, La destructivité en œuvres, essai sur l’art syrien contemporain, Beyrouth : Presses de l’Ifpo, 2021, 208 pages.
  • Jean Jacques Pérennès, « Pierre Claverie et Christian de Chergé, deux regards sur le mystère de l’islam », Islamochristiana, 45 (2018), pages 191‒203.
  • Jean Jacques Pérennès, « Jacques Jomier (1914‒2018), Dialog über das Kennen und Verstehen der muslimischen Kultur vor Ort », Wegbereiter des Interreligiösen Dialogs, Band III (Petrus Bsteh, Brigitte Procksch ed.), Wien, LIT Verlag, 2020, pages 163‒172.

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