The 200 Project

icon-calendar March 2013‒February 2016

Logo 200 SiteFollowing its call for proposals, a contract entitled “Historic contextualization of 200 authors of the Classical Islamic heritage” was signed on 19 December 2012 with the European Union under the European Instrument for Human Rights & Democracy (reference EIDHR/2012 / 308 681) for an amount of € 155,000.

This contract offers a qualitative leap for AlKindi version 4 since it opens an opportunity to enrich our catalog with greater historical contextualization and intertextuality, which will highlight all the resources of the new software.

200 authors of the classical Arabic cultural heritage will be given priority, including al-Gaḥiẓ (d. 255/869), al-Farābī (d. 339/950), Ibn Sīnā (Avicenne, d. 428/1037), al-Bīrūnī (d. 440/1048), al-Ghazālī (d. 505/1111), Ibn Rushd (Averroes, d. 595/1198), Ibn ʿArabī (d. 638/1240), Ibn Taymiyya (d. 728/1328), Ibn Qayyim al-Gawzīya (d. 751/1350), Ibn Khaldūn (d. 808/1406), Ibn Ḥagar al-ʿAsqalānī (d. 852/1449), and al-Suyūṭī (d. 911/1505).

The catalog will integrate the historical context of the relationships between authors and their works. This new contextual light will help avoid misinterpretation, identify the innovative accents of each work or author, and underline the central ideas of the schools of thought.

Enabling a critical and respectful reading of the turāth

In Arabic, the term “critical thinking” (tafkīr naqdī) is often understood as distrustful of the Arab or Islamic culture and is unbearable for many Arab researchers. They find it difficult therefore to adopt a historical perspective as researchers in the West do. They prefer to consider classical culture in its internal consistency and organic development, an ahistorical approach that brings out the specific beauty of Arab culture but tends to minimize the breaks and therefore becomes inadequate to help to meet new cultural challenges. The AlKindi catalog makes possible a more helpful historical reading of the turâth.

In addition, the sense of a particular work in the turâth is difficult to capture because many of its authors are compilers of the works of the ancients. Their genius has often been to summarize, rearrange, or to compile the works of their predecessors rather than to create an original or innovative work: the contextualization of theirs works is therefore essential to understanding them.

Towards the mapping of the Arab-Muslim turāth

This leaflet was created for the launch of The 200 Project, and gives a general look on the development perspectives that were initiated by this project and the AlKindi v4 project.