Newsletter — July and August 2019

Dear friends,

You may be surprised to find a picture of a group of Jesuits here! In July, Jean Druel, OP was invited to participate in the meeting entitled “Jesuits among Muslims” (JAM), which gathers Jesuits from all over the world who work with Muslims every two years. Most of these Jesuits work with refugees in different parts of the world and do outstanding work as part of their NGO “Jesuit Refugee Service” (JRS). We have planned to set up collaborations between IDEO and JAM because we complement each other very well.

Another piece of good news from the summer is the integration of five new members into IDEO’s research team: Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (Strasbourg), Aziz Hilal (Cairo), Luca Refatti, OP (Istanbul), Walid Saleh (Toronto) and Ahmad Wagih (Cairo). We wish to expand our collaborations in networks where we are not yet very present.

We wish you a good start of the academic year, and hope to share with you some fraternal moments and stimulating discoveries.


From July 3‒5th, the 3rd conference of the GIS (Scientific Interest Group) “Middle East and the Muslim Worlds”, which brought together many researchers and students from France in different fields related to Islamic and Near Eastern studies, was held in Paris. Several members of the IDEO participated: Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Adrien Candiard, OP and Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau, who gave a lecture on the practice of reciting the Qurʾān in a workshop bringing together “contemporary” anthropologists and “classical” Islamic scholars.

From July 16‒19th, Jean Druel, OP participated in the meeting “Jesuits among Muslims” which was held in Taanayel, Lebanon. He made a presentation on the situation of Islam and interreligious dialogue in Egypt since the 2011 revolution.

On July 25th and 26th, the International Qur’anic Studies Association (IQSA) held its conference in Tangier, Morocco. Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau gave a lecture on “The status of the Qurʾān as an authority in Sunni communities in the Abbasid golden age: the example of the testimonies gathered by Abū ʿUbayd b. Sallām (d. 224/838)” and Michel Cuypers gave a lecture on the literary similarities of Surah 8, The Spoils, with some war stories in the Pentateuch.

From August 24‒30th, René-Vincent du Grandlaunay, OP participated in the 85th Congress of IFLA (International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions) in Athens.


From July 15‒20th, Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau gave an introduction to academic Islamic studies during a session at al-Mowafaqa Institute in Rabat, Morocco (an ecumenical institute created by the Catholic and Protestant churches in Morocco). This intensive session, which takes place every summer, is taught by various teachers to a French-speaking audience wishing to deepen their knowledge of Islamic dogmas and study Moroccan Islam in context (for example, people engaging in Islamic-Christian dialogue).


At the end of August, Dennis Halft, OP was appointed Professor of Abrahamic Religions in the Department of Catholic Theology at the University of Trier.

Summer School

From August 19‒30th, Dennis Halft, OP participated in the International Persian Summer School on “Working in an Indian Archive: Indo-Persian Records from Hyderabad”,  which was held at the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU) in Hyderabad in Deccan, India.


On July 3rd, we welcomed Mrs. Michelle Bubenicek, Director of the National School of Chartes, Mrs. Elsa Marguin-Hamon, Director of Research and International Relations, Mr. Alexis de Canck, Head of International Relations, and Mr. Moustapha Mbengue, Director of the EBAD in Dakar.

From July 24‒27th, we welcomed Mr. Stéphane Chouin from the National Library of France as part of a reflection on a project to cataloguing Syriac manuscripts in Iraq.

On August 29th, we welcomed for lunch Mr. Per-Axel Frielingsdorf, Minister-Counsellor of the Swedish Embassy in Cairo.

Scholars’ House

In July and August, we had the pleasure of receiving in the Scholars’ House Mrs. Rosanna Budelli, from the La Pira Library in Palermo, Italy, Dr Abdul Majid Nadeem, Professor of Arabic Linguistics at the University of Punjab in Lahore, Mr. Loann Kerharo, student in sciences of religions, and Ms. Sarah Delere, German theologian and student in political science.


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