Guillaume de Vaulx
Doctor of Philosophy and IDEO member
icon-calendar December 12, 2017
It is impossible to hold these three statements at the same time: 1) “God wants all people to be saved”, 2) “God shows people a path of salvation”, and 3) “Anyone who does not follow this path cannot be saved”. Either God wants the salvation for all, in which case He cannot impose only one path of salvation; or He imposes a particular path, in which case He risks that some will not follow it. And in any case, whatever the revealed path, it is only given to a given group, at a given time, condemning those who lived prior to or far from the place of this revelation.
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 within a Muslim context. For him, the world is built on complementary relationships: no one person can have all skills, per se. Rather, together, we have all skills. This principle of complementarity is valid not only in everyday life, but also for eternal salvation. individually, we cannot achieve salvation, but together, each according to his religion and beliefs, we are able to achieve salvation for all, because salvation is beyond what any of us can achieve alone.
Guillaume de Vaulx
PhD student at Paris-IV University
icon-calendar November 3, 2015
Guillaume de Vaulx presented under the title “Reason against reason” a medieval Christian-Muslim polemic. The debate opposed the Nestorian bishop Isrāʾīl al-Kaskarī to Aḥmad ibn al-Ṭayyib al-Saraḫsī, one of al-Kindī disciples who the speaker suspects to be the author of Iḫwān al-Ṣafāʾ’s treatises. The traces of this polemic that are found in these treatises show us what the purpose of interreligious dispute purpose could be: not to reach an agreement but to allow everyone to deepen their quest for the truth.
Guillaume de Vaulx is French and lives in Beirut. He is a researcher at IFPO, the French Institute for the Middle East.
After different degrees in philosophy, he lived in Saudi Arabia then settled in Cairo. He defended his PhD on the subject of the Epistles of the Brethren of Purity at the University of Sorbonne under the supervision of Pr. Marwan Rashed in 2016.
His academic works deal with contemporary philosophy and the history of Arabic philosophy in the Middle Age. He published an introduction to Hannah Arendt, published articles on the blog “Propos d’Égypte” of the online magazine Philomag and wrote articles with Antoun Milad, journalist at the Egyptian newspaper Waṭanī.
In the field of Arabic studies, he published an article on al-Fārābī and another one on the notion of dumbness among the Arab philosophers. He is now writing his thesis establishing a precise authorship for the Rasā’il Iḫwān al-Ṣafāʾ.