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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Newsletter — March 2018

Dear friends,

On March 27th, we signed a contract with the European Delegation in Cairo for the funding of the project “Adawāt: Tools for Critical Thinking in Islamic Studies” in the amount of 500,000 euros over four years (2018-2022). This amount will finance several activities whose common goal is to provide students, researchers, and teachers of Islamic studies with the tools that allow them to study Islam from a critical point of view. Such as, the installation of our AlKindi software at the Institute of Manuscripts of the Arab League in Cairo, French classes and training sessions in France, PhD Workshops, assistance for the international mobility of students, lecturers, and teachers from several departments of Al-Azhar University, and finally, during the four years of the project, the organizing of two international conferences in Cairo. The educational part will be managed directly by the French Institute.

The IDEO and its partners in Egypt ( the Institute of Manuscripts, the University of Al-Azhar and the French Institute), with the support of the European Union, wish to assist in the training of the new generation of specialists in Islam.

Seminar al-Azhar University and the IDEO

On March 22nd, a session of our joint Al-Azhar-IDEO seminar took place on the topic of the epistemology of Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328). The three commented on an extract from the long fatwā which beings his book Darʾ taʿāruḍ al-ʿaql wa-l-naql, and where Ibn Taymiyya explains his method of reading sacred texts (i.e. the Qurʾān and the Ḥadīṯ). Read the report of the seminar…

Lectures and conferences

On March 5th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave at the Catholic Institute of Paris (ICP) a counterpoint  presentation in the presence of François Julien on the occasion of the publication of his book, Les ressources du christianisme (Paris, 2018). The round table was attended by Philippe Bordeyne and Emmanuel Lincot.

On March 12th, Emilio Platti, OP participated in a conference entitled “Christianity and the Qurʾān: From the Origins of Islam to the Medieval Period”, organized by the Catholic University of Leuven.

On March 12th and 13th, Jean Druel, OP participated in the 5th Loyola Hall Symposium in Lahore, Pakistan, which was devoted to interreligious dialogue. His lecture was entitled “The Question of Truth: Hermeneutic Keys for Dialogue”. On March 14th, he participated in a round-table with Sheikh Muḥammad ʿAmmār Khān Nāṣir.

On March 14th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP participated in a round-table discussion at the conference of the Higher Institute of Ecumenical Studies in Paris (ISEO) on the topic of “Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue”.

On March 17th, Adrien Candiard, OP attended in the annual meeting of the Philanthropos Institute in Fribourg and gave a lecture on his book Comprendre l’islam, ou plutôt: pourquoi on n’y comprend rien (Paris, 2016).

On March 19th, Rémi Chéno, OP gave a lecture entitled “One Body in the Spirit or The Mystery of the Body of Christ” at the Dominican Priory in Tours.

From March 19-22nd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave two lectures entitled “Al-Ġazālī and the non-Muslims” and “The Christian Foundations of the Theology of Teligions” at the Institute Dar El Hadith El Hassania in Rabat. He also participated in a research session on the topic of “Exegesis of Sacred Texts”.

On March 20th, Jean Druel, OP participated in a methodology workshop organized by the American Research Center in Egypt (ARCE) on the issue of documentary sources. He made a presentation on the contextual catalog of IDEO.

On March 21st, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Methodology in Sociology of Religions: al-Ġazālī’s contribution to the human sciences”, at the Department of Arts and Humanities at Mohammad V University in Rabat.

On March 21st, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “A Christian Reading of the Qurʾān: The Polemical Work of the Jesuit Missionary Michel Nau (1633-83)”, at the international workshop “Writing the History of Jerusalem: Sources and Methods”, organized by the French Research Center (Centre de Recherche Français) in Jerusalem.

On March 23rd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led the research lab entitled “Islam and Otherness”, organized by the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions (ISTR) on the topic of “The reception of Bergson’s thought in the Arabic-speaking and Turkish-speaking world” with the participation of Dilek Sarmis and Markus Kneer.

On March 27th, Emilio Platti, OP gave a conference entitled “Fractures in the History of Modern Egypt”, at the University Foundation in Brussels.

Visits

On March 5th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Christian Robin, specialist in pre-Islamic Arabia.

On March 22nd, we received the visit of Mr. Neville Kyrke-Smith, the director of the Church in Need for the UK.

On March 23rd, we received the visit of Mr. Peter Schwartzstein, journalist for National Geographic, and Mr. Hani Samir, Journalist for Monitor.

On March 25th, we received the visit of Mr. Aurélien Javel, PhD student at Lyon-3 in Public Law.

On March 29th, we received the visit of P. Samir Khalil, P. Fadel Sidarouss, P. Henri Boulad and Mr. Paul Farah, to discuss a collaboration in the management of our Jesuit and Dominican libraries in Cairo.

On March 30th, we received Fr. György Fodor, dean of the Faculty of human sciences at the Pázmány Péter Catholic University of Hungary, and his wife, Ms Júlia Sárközy, professor of archaeology.

Scholars’ House

In March, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Nadirah Mansour, PhD student at Princeton University, Mr. Marius Dumas, student at the French School for Biblical and Archaeological Studies in Jerusalem (EBAF), Mr. Olivier Rampnoux, professor at the University of Poitiers, and Ms. Haruko Sakaedani, Arabic teacher at Keio University (Tokyo).

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Newsletter — February 2018

Dear friends,

The month of February has been very busy, due in part to the annual Book Fair and the many personalities passing through Cairo. We were impressed by the renewed vitality of Arab publishers, especially of the Iraqis and Syrians. We were also able to obtain many classical Arabic texts and have very nice encounters. It would seem that the Cairo Book Fair confirms its central position in the market of the Arabic-Muslim heritage texts.

Lectures

On February 3rd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “Interreligious Dialogue:  Challenges and Perspectives”, as part of the educational days of the diocese of Tours.

On February 4th, Amir Jajé, OP took part in a round table entitled “Commit to Eastern Christians: What is the place of the interreligious dialogue in establishing a society of peace in the Middle East?”, organized by the French Catholic organization Œuvre d’Orient as part of the Ecclesia Campus (Lille).

On February 6th, Adrien Candiard, OP gave a lecture on his book Comprendre l’islam, ou plutôt : pourquoi on n’y comprend rien (Paris: Flammarion, 2016) at the Dominican priory in Bordeaux.

On February 6th, Rémi Chéno, OP gave a lecture entitled “The challenge of the plurality of religions”, the topic of his book Dieu au pluriel (Paris: Cerf, 2017), in Agora-Tête-d’Or in Lyon. He repeated this lecture in English at the Dominican priory in Lund (Sweden) on February 16th, and again at the Dominican priory in Strasbourg on February 19th.

On February 9th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP and Marco Dimichelis led an ISTR research seminar entitled “Islam and Otherness”.

From February 19-23rd, Emmanuel Pisani, OP took part in a session of Islamology entitled “Prayer in Islam”, at Notre-Dame de Vie in Venasque.

On February 28th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a seminar entitled “Al-Ġazālī between criticism and apology of philosophy or how the philosophy is convened for its theological-political projects”, at the ENS in Lyon.

Nomination

On February 26th, Dennis Halft, OP was appointed as a postdoctoral fellow of the Martin Buber Society of Fellows in the Humanities at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, from the academic year 2018/19 onwards. The Martin Buber Society of Fellows, a joint venture of the Hebrew University and the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, aims at fostering inter-disciplinary and inter-cultural academic discourse at the highest level among outstanding young scholars from Israel and Germany together with selected senior colleagues.

Visits

On February 1st, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Ali Benmakhlouf, philosopher, who was invited to Egypt by the French Institute.

On February 2nd, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Frédéric Bauden, specialist of Arabic manuscripts at the University of Louvain, who was invited to Egypt by the IFAO.

On February 4th, we welcomed Mr. Sarhan Dhouib, philosopher at the University of Kassel in Germany, who was invited to Egypt by the Cairo University.

On February 15th, we received the visit of Mrs. Carla Thomas, from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Ministry, who carried-out a mission to Egypt.

On February 16th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Nadirah Mansour, PhD student at the University of Princeton, USA.

On February 19th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Helen LaFave, Minister-Counselor of the United States Embassy in Egypt, and Mrs. Elaine Jones, Political and Religious Affairs Officer.

On February 20th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Tomás Guardia, Ambassador of Panama in Egypt, and Mrs. Julissa de Hoyos, Minister-Counselor.

On February 27th, we received the visit of Mrs. Inessa Beloglazova, Professor of Arabic at the Federal University of Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia.

Scholars’ House

In February, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Sadia Agsous, post-PhD fellow at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales in Paris.

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Newsletter — January 2018

Dear friends,

The IDEO conference on Ḥadīṯ, organized in partnership with the French Institute of Egypt (see photo), was an extraordinary occasion for young specialists from several different countries to meet together. Methodological issues largely dominated the conversation: how to study Ḥadīṯ today, is this great set of literature attributed to the Prophet? The quality of the discussions and the diversity of participants encourage us to continue our efforts in building bridges between researchers in Islamic studies in the West and in the East.

Conference on Ḥadīṯ

On January 11, 12 and 13, the IDEO, in partnership with the French Institute, organized an international conference entitled “The emergence of Ḥadīṯ as the authority of knowledge”. For three days, there were lectures given in Arabic and English, as well as workshops, led by Dr. Walid Saleh and Dr. Aisha Geissinger. Read the report…

Seminars

From January 6-13th, we welcomed M. Jari Kaukua, Professor of Islamic philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland. On January 8th, he led a seminar on al-Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191). Instead of totally rejecting the Avicennian notion of substance, al-Suhrawardi integrates it into a wider theory of knowledge.

Lectures

On January 2nd, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “What Did Jewish and Christian Converts to Islam Contribute to Muslim Polemics against Judaism and Christianity?”, at the Center for the Study of Conversion and Inter-Religious Encounters at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheba, Israel.

On January 11th, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “Vatican Censorship and the Printing of the Gospels in Arabic”, at the international conference “Typographia Linguarum Externarum. The Medici Press: Knowledge and Cultural Transfer around 1600” organized by Max-Planck Kunsthistorisches Institute (Florence, Italy).

On January 25th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP led a discussion on the origins of Islam with Jacqueline Chabbi, Ruth Grosrichard, and Esma Hind Tengour, at the Arab World Institute in Paris.

Visits

From January 9-15th, we received the visit of Mr. Bruno Racine, President of the Association of  “The Friends of IDEO”, Bertrand Wallon, secretary general and Denys Bourguignat, responsible for the publication of the The Friends of IDEO Newsletter.

On January 10th, we received the visit of Mr. ʿAbd al-Raḥmān al-Ahdal and Muḥammad Ṣāliḥ from The Tafsīr Center  in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia as part of our cooperative agreement.

From January 18-20th, we received the visit of P. Thom Sicking and P. Gabriel Hachem, responsible for the publication of  Proche-Orient chrétien magazine, who came to study the possibility of collaborations between IDEO and the magazine.

On January 19th, we received the visit of Charles Saint-Prot, director of the Observatory of Geopolitical studies (Paris) and Thierry Rambaud, Professor of Public Law at the University Paris Descartes-Sorbonne.

On January 29th, we welcomed for lunch Mrs. Jessica Olausson and Mr. Mark Seah, Minister Counsellors at the Embassies of Sweden and Singapore, respectively.

Scholars’ House

In January, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, IDEO member and Professor of History of Modern and Contemporary Islam at the University of Paris-Sorbonne, Mr. Lutz Rogler, Professor at the University of Berlin, and Mr. Ronan Humeau, student of Arabic and International Relations at the National Institute of Language and Civilization (INALCO – France).

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Newsletter — December 2017

Dear friends,

In the face of the dramatic situation that is shaking the Arab world, the victims of which are Muslims and Christians, atheists, believers and non-believers of all religions, more and more people are getting up and engaging in the discovery of the beautiful internal diversity of this Arab world in crisis. At the IDEO, we are witnessing an increasing will among each other to overcome our mutual fears through study, culture, education, and cooperation.

We hope that our conference on Ḥadīṯ on January 11, 12 and 13 in partnership with al-Azhar University and the French Institute will be another occasion to build our knowledge together. Click here to read the presentation of the conference… Click here to download the programme…

Seminars

On December 12th, Guillaume de Vaulx, led a seminar on the topic “No one will be saved if all are not saved”. The author of Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-ṣafā, whom Guillaume de Vaulx believes to have discovered to be Aḥmad al-Ṭayyib al-Saraḫrsī (d. 286/899), offers an original solution to the question of universal salvation, based on complementary relationships between religions. Click here to read the report…

Lectures and conferences

On December 2nd, Amir Jajé, OP participated in a conference entitled “Migration, Displacement and Diaspora: Demographic Changes in the Arab World 1917-2017”, organized by the by the Christian Academic Forum for Arab Citizenship (CAFCAW) in Limassol, Cyprus.

On December 4th, Amir Jajé, OP attended the meeting of the Administrative Council of the “Network of Religious Faculties in the Arab World” in Limassol, Cyprus.

On December 8th, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “New Evidence for the History of Iranian Jewry and Imāmī-Jewish Relations from Shīʿī Manuscript Repositories in Iran”, at the international conference “Shii Studies: The State of the Art” at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, N.J., USA.

On December 21st, Guillaume de Vaulx organized a study day dedicated to The Brethren of Purity (Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-Ṣafā), whose studies have been revolutionized in recent years, in the SPHERE laboratory of History of Science at Paris-Diderot University. Discussions with speakers Pascal Crozet, Ahmad Hasnaoui, Cristina Cerami, Mehrnaz Katouzian, Husein Massoumi, and their doctoral students have allowed some progress in the field of the Arab pythagorianism.

Thesis defense

On December 2nd, Adrien de Fouchier, OP defended his doctoral thesis entitled “The Christian Arabic Manuscript of the 13th century: Considerations from the Vatican Archives”.

On December 7th, under the supervision of Dominique Avon, Anaïs-Trissa Khatchadourian defended her doctoral thesis entitled “Moussa Sadr: The Intellectual Biography of a Shiite cleric” at the University of Maine. The other jury members were Mohammad-Ali Amir-Moezzi, Constance ArminjonCéline Borello, Pierre-Jean Luizard, and Chantal Verdeil.

Book Fair

From December 4-10th, Mr. Ahmad Chleilat and René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP went to the Arab Book Fair to purchase books. In total, they bought 300 titles, mostly old texts.

Open House Day

On December 16th, Mr. Guillaume de Vaulx organized an open house day to introduce the library and IDEO to new readers (photo). Around twenty students and researchers came from different universities and specialties.   Their diversity is impressive: men, women, Egyptians, foreigners, Muslims, Christians, Salafists and Sufis, Liberals, Coptic, Evangelicals…And their interest in our work encourages us.

Interviews

On December 15th, Jean Druel, OP was interviewed by Mrs. Alessandra Buzzetti (MediaSet) and Mrs. Cristiana Caricato (TV2000) during their trip to Cairo organized by the Ministry of Tourism to encourage Italian pilgrimages in the footsteps of the Holy Family in Egypt.

Visits

On December 5th, we received the visit of Mrs. Nayla Tabbara from the Lebanese Foundation Adyan, which works in the field of interreligious dialogue and citizenship.

On December 9th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Kamal al Ekhnawy a representative of the Bahá’í community in Egypt.

On December 20th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Ibrahim Mansour, Ph.D student at the University of California, Sainta Barbara, and ARCE fellow in Cairo, who is working on the origins of the Shadhiliyya Sufi.

On December 21st, we received the visit of about twenty researchers from the Coptic Studies Center of the Alexandria Library.

Scholars’ House

In December, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mrs. Fabienne Laumonier who makes radio documentaries for France Culture and Arteradio, and Mrs. Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, Professor at the University of Strasbourg.

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Newsletter — November 2017

Dear friends,

The finesse of the debates that we are witnesses to — be it in our common projects, seminars, lectures, at the defense of doctoral theses, or during the visits we receive — contrasts cruelly with the violence that has one again struck innocent people last November 24th in the Al-Rawḍa Mosque located between Biʾr al-ʿAbd and al-ʿArīsh. A moment of silence was observed at several academic events over the last few days. Perhaps this is the best way to bridge this harsh gap between the careful and passionate search for truth and the blind violence of those who believe that the quest for the truth can justify murder.

Seminars

On November 7th, Jean Druel, OP led seminar on the topic “The word āmīn in Arabic”. The word āmīn ­is not an Arabic word, however it is well attested to in the adīṯ that the Prophet and his companions would conclude the recitation of the first sūra, al-Fātiḥa, by saying “āmīn.” This fact has triggered the curiosity of both Qurʾānic commentators and grammarians. Click here to read the report…

On November 13th, Mateus Domingues Da Silva, OP presented his PhD research on the philosophy of Šihāb al-Din al-Suhrawardī (d. 587/1191), especially his theory of knowledge.  Al-Suhrawardī reverses the theory of  Avicenna (428/1037), considering that knowledge par excellence is the direct and immediate apprehension of things in the soul, as in a mirror, and not at their first discursive intellection. For al-Suhrawardī, there is an analogy between how God and humans know things.

On November 27th the fifth meeting of our cooperative seminar with al-Azhar took place, which was dedicated to the theme of “literalism.” Literalism consists of not only the refusal of allegorical, symbolic or mystical readings, but also the belief that the intention of the author is immediately accessible and transparent in the letter of the text, without the use of the tools of interpretation, such as linguistics, literary forms, history, anthropology, sociology, etc. Click here to read the report…

Lectures

On November 9th, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “Judaeo-Persian Bible Translations in a Shiite Milieu”, at the international conference “The Bible in Arabic: Jewish and Christian Translations, Muslim Interpretations. State of the Art and Future Prospects” at Tel Aviv University, Israel.

On November 14th, Amir Jajé, OP took part in a round table discussion at the College of Bernardins in Paris titled “Eastern Christians: from spirituality to citizenship”. Click here to watch the video online…

From November 27‒29th, Amir Jajé, OP and Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP participated at the French School of Rome at a conference titled “In partibus fidelium: Missions of the Levant and knowledge of the Christian East (XIX‒XXI centuries)”. The presentation of Amir Jajé, OP was entitled “The Discovery of the Church of Kokhé: The Dawn of the Christian Faith in Mesopotamia”, and that of Jean Jacques Pérennès “The printing house of the Dominicans in Mosul at the end of the 19ᵗʰ century: a contribution to the cultural memory of the Eastern Christians”.

Cooperation agreement

We are glad to announce the signing of a cooperative agreement with Tafsir Center for Quranic Studies (Riyad) that will enable us to organize common research projects, conferences, lectures and workshops in the field of Qurʾānic studies.

Visits

On November 7th, we welcomed New York Times journalist Mr. Declan Walsh for lunch.

On November 23rd, we welcomed Mr. Péter Kveck, Ambassador of Hungary, and Mr. Attila Szvétek, his cultural counselor. They were accompanied by Fathers Csaba Böjte, Franciscan, Szabolcs Sajgó, Jesuit, and Mr. György Hölvényi, member of the European Parliament, who are working on a project for a film about Egyptian Christians.

On November 30th, we welcomed Mr. Samer al-Atrush from the AFP news agency in Cairo for lunch.

Scholars’ House

In November, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mr. Hugues Lefèvre, journalist for the French magazine Famille chrétienne, Mrs. Rachida Chih, researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), Mr. Mark Nyvlt, professor of philosophy at the Dominican University in Ottawa, Mr. Guillaume Lurton, teacher at the University of Poitiers, Mr. András Szenczi and Ms. Zsuzsanna Csorba, PhD students at Catholic University of Hungary.

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Newsletter — October 2017

IDEO's Gala October 15, 2017 © Sarah Delere

Dear friends,

The month of October was an opportunity to meet with you all twice, once during a conference organized by the association “Friends of IDEO” on October 9th at the Bernardins in Paris, entitled “Scholars of the Other: the Dominicans of the IDEO in Cairo“. The second was at the first Gala of the IDEO, held in Cairo on October 15th (see the photo above).

The projects that IDEO is able to initiate through your support are many, in addition your continued support of our basic research in Islamology, formation of the new generation of Dominican Islamologists, our cooperation with Al-Azhar University, and our partnerships with libraries (i.e. BnF, Arab manuscript centers in Cairo, and elsewhere…).

Thank you for your support and the confidence you show in us.

Seminars

On October 18th, Mr. Ahmad Wagih gave a lecture as part of the Seminar on Arab-Muslim Culture series on the topic “Certainty and Probability: From Theology to the ‘Servant’ Sciences”. The theological categories of “certain” (qaṭʿī) and “probable” (ẓannī) expanded to classify and evaluate knowledge that have been given different definitions according to the legal schools, and have influenced other Islamic sciences, such as ḥadīṯ and law. Click here to read the report…

Lectures

From October 4-12th, Jean Druel, OP gave a series of lectures on his book Je crois en Dieu ! — Moi non plus (Cerf, 2017) in Lourdes, Strasbourg and Arras as part of the conference “Interreligious dialogue: History, Cultures, and Social Links” organized by The Institute for the Study of Religious Facts.

On October 5th, Emmanuel Pisani, OP gave a lecture entitled “The Origins of Islam: A Panorama of Contemporary Studies on Early Islam” at the Lacordaire Cultural Center in Montpellier.

On October 21st, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture at the Tantur Ecumenical Institute of Notre Dame University (Indiana, USA) as part of a round-table discussion dedicated to Muslim-Christian dialogue since Vatican II.

On October 26th, Dennis Halft, OP gave a lecture entitled “Twelver Shiite-Jewish Interaction in Early Modern Iran” at the international conference “Jews in Muslim Majority Countries – History and Prospects”, at the Jewish Museum of Berlin, Germany.

Nominations

Dominique Avon was elected as Director of Studies at the École pratique des hautes études (Practical School of Higher Studies), in their “Religious Sciences” section.

Guillaume de Vaulx was recruited for a research position at Ifpo (Beirut).

Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen was named as Professor of the history of modern and contemporary Islam at the University of Paris-Sorbonne.

Visits

On October 20th, we welcomed Mrs. Sylvie Denoix, and Mr. Gilles Dorival and his wife for lunch, who participated in the “The Words of Peace” Conference organized by the Ifao.

On October 24th, we welcomed Mr. Dragan Bisenić, ambassador of Serbia in Cairo, for lunch.

Scholars’ House

In October, we had the pleasure of receiving at the Scholars’ House Mr. Olivier Rampnoux, professor at the University of Poitiers, as well as Suzan Mitry and Mr. and Mrs. Soulé who are Iraqi friends of ours.

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