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.


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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