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.


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…


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.


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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