Newsletter – October 2016


Dear friends,

Study, the serious search for the truth, the attentive hearing of the contradictory positions, takes infinitely more time than hate polemics. When everything is complex, we attempt to lump everything together in a block rather than trying to enter into the complexity of things.

To this day, we have not found a better way to arrive at the truth than academic research: start with a hypothesis, define a relevant body of work, analyze these works according to adapted methods, and validate or refute the hypothesis. This process leaves no room for indemonstrable intuitions, for suggestive yet unfounded correlations, or for peremptory judgments.

The proof that research is completely academic is that it is repeatable. If another researcher were to analyze the same given info with the same methods, he could arrive at the same result. Visibly, there is still a lot of work to do in Islamic studies!

IDEO’s Seminar

On October 25th, Mr. Aziz Hilal gave a lecture at our seminar entitled  “The ‘Fourth Philosophy’ of al Fārābī”. In his book Kitāb al-ǧadal, al-Fārābī (m. 339/950) evokes a “fourth philosophy”, which is in essence a dialectic pedagogy raised to the level of philosophy. Click here to read the abstract.


On October 15th, within the context of the seminar “Reading historical documents from Egypt ” at IFAO (French Institute for Eastern Archaeology), fr. Jean Druel O.P. presented a chapter of Sībawayh’s Kitāb according to the Milan manuscript “Ambrosiana X 56 Sup”, a parchment dated to the 5th/11th century, corrected in 715/1315.

From October 24‒28, fr. Jean Jacques Pérennès O.P., participated in the interdisciplinary week titled “Tibhirine, 20 years later”, organized by the Faculty of Theology at Fribourg University. He gave two lectures: “The approach of Islam by Christian de Chergé, Prior of Tibhirine”, and “The Theology of Encounter in the Work of Pierre Claverie”. The proceedings of the conference will be published.

From October 28‒29, fr. Emilio Platti O.P. participated in the conference “Ex Oriente Lux” organized in Frankfort by the Philosophische-theologische Hochschule Sankt Georgen. He gave a lecture on “Christian Theology and Religious Philosophy Confronting Islam in Baghdad, 750‒1050”.


IDEO is partnering in the preparation of the colloquium titled “Religious Dynamics in Contemporary Egypt” which will be held in Cairo from September 10‒12, 2017. Click here to download the call for papers.

Scholars’ House

We had the pleasure to welcome at the Scholars’ House in October Ms Manel Belhadj Ali, PhD student at Sorbonne University (Paris), Mr Stéphane Pradines, Aga Khan University (London), and Mr Ahmad Abd al-Rahim, independent scholar.

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