Newsletter — June 2020

Dear friends,

We are happy to announce the appointment of Emmanuel Pisani, OP as the new director of the IDEO. Emmanuel is a specialist in the theological thought of Abū Ḥāmid al-Ġazālī (d. 505/1111), and he is interested in the interactions between Muslims of different currents of Islam as well as between believers of different confessions. He will head the Graduate Institute of Theology and Science of Religions (ISTR) at the Catholic University in Paris until June 2021, when he will move to Cairo. Dennis Halft, OP will then succeed him as Director of MIDEO. During this year, Jean Druel, OP will remain as assistant director.

The activities of the Institute and its members are still at a standstill, which fortunately benefits research. We wish you a great summer!


On 21 June, Youssouf Sangaré gave an online lecture as part of the “Midan Mounira” cycle entitled “Islam of the Qurʾān vs Islam of the Hadith: Overcoming the divide between the ‘new thinkers of Islam’ and the ‘Ulamas’”. Click here to read the report and here to watch the conference online (in French, with Arabic subtitles).

On July 8, Jean Jacques Pérennès, OP gave a lecture in Tréguier, France entitled “Louis Massignon, a different approach to Islam”.

Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau (University of Strasbourg) is organising with Mehdi Azaiez (MCF University of Lorraine / KU Leuven) and Iyas Hassan (MCF Lyon-2), a series of lectures entitled “Composing, writing and transmitting the Qurʾān in the first century of Islam“ in the universities of Lorraine, Lyon-2 and Strasbourg. Click here to watch these lectures online… (in French).

Research Seminars

Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau organizes with Salomé Deboos (anthropologist, University of Strasbourg) a monthly research seminar at the University of Strasbourg entitled “Representations of Islams: panchronic views and experiences”. Click here to download the program… (in French).

Ifao-Ideo Scholarship

We are pleased to welcome in Cairo Sana Bou Antoun, doctoral student at Sorbonne-University under the supervision of professors Abdallah Cheikh-Moussa and Asma Hilali, during the academic year 2020-2021. She is studying on the epistemological implications of the use by the first orientalists in the 19ᵗʰ century in Qurʾānic studies of intellectual tools developed for Biblical studies.

Libraries of the Orient

The French National Library and the IDEO have signed a two-year collaboration agreement to finance the development of Diamond, the cataloguing software developed by the IDEO according to IFLA-LRM standards. The aim of this agreement is to enable partner libraries of the online portal “Libraries of the Orient” to use Diamond to catalogue manuscripts and printed materials that will then be added to the portal.

International Conference

The conference “From the Back of the Heart: Reciting in the Early Islamic Empire” which was planned in Cairo at the end of June has been postponed to October 16ᵗʰ-18ᵗʰ. This conference is coordinated by Anne-Sylvie Boisliveau and Asma Hilali.


MIDEO 35 on Shia-Christian interactions is expected to be published during the summer. It will be available online for free on the Open Edition website.


  • Dominique Avon, « Le nom chrétien sous la plume d’hommes de religion musulmans égyptiens », Les cahiers de l’EMAM 32 (2020).
  • Jean Druel, “The Kitāb Sībawayh of ʾAbū al-Ḥasan ʾAḥmad b. Naṣr: A non-Sīrāfian recension of the Kitāb”, in Zeitschrift für arabische Linguistik 71 (2020), pages 29‒56.
  • Emmanuel Pisani, « Dans le Coran, l’eau est douce et amère », Les cahiers « Croire » 329 (mai-juin 2020), pages 30‒32.
  • Emmanuel Pisani (dir.), avec la collaboration de Pierre Diara, Marie-Hélène Robert & Xavier Manzano, Maximum illud : vers une nouvelle ère missionnaire, Paris : Cerf, 2020 (Collection « Theologicum »).
  • Guillaume de Vaulx, La civilisation et ses bêtes : réécritures contemporaines de la fable médiévale des Épîtres des Frères en Pureté (Rasāʾil Ikhwān al-ṣafā), le procès animal de la domination humaine (blog hébergé sur le site

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