There is Matter for Thought

Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, “There is Matter for Thought. The Episode of the Night Journey and the Heavenly Ascension in the Sīra ḥalabiyya, at the Beginning of the Seventeenth Century”, in Denis Gril, Stefan Reichmuth and Dilek Sarmis (dir.), The Presence of the Prophet in Early Modern and Contemporary Islam, vol. I: The Prophet Between Doctrine, Literature and Arts: Historical Legacies and Their Unfolding, Leyde, Brill, 2021 [dated 2022], p. 115‒150.

Ethics and spirituality in Islam

97965Francesco Chiabotti, Eve Feuillebois-Pierunek, Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen et Luca Patrizi (éd.), Ethics and spirituality in Islam: Sufi adab, Brill, Leyde, 2016, 792 pages.

The notion of adab is at the heart of Arab-Islamic culture. Born in the crucible of the Arabic and Persian civilization, nourished by Greek and Indian influences, this polysemic notion could cover a variegated range of meanings: good behavior, knowledge of manners, etiquette, rules and belles-lettres and finally, literature. This collection of articles tries to explore how the formulations and reformulations of adab during the first centuries of Islam engage with the crucial period of the first great spiritual masters, exploring the importance of normativity, but also of transgression, in order to define the rules themselves. Assuming that adab is ethics, the articles analyse the genres of Sufi adab, including manuals and hagiographical accounts, from the formative period of Sufism until the modernity.

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Sufism, literary production, and printing

9783956500435_coverCatherine Mayeur-Jaouen, Rachida Chih and Rüdiger Seesemann (éd.), Sufism, literary production, and printing in the nineteenth century, (Mitteilungen zur sozial- und Kulturgeschichte, 37), Ergon Verlag, Würzburg, 579 pages, 2015.


  • Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen, « Sufism and printing in nineteenth-century Egypt », Ibidem, p. 25s.
  • Alberto F. Ambrosio, « The library of the whirling dervish: an editorial policy », Ibidem, p. 75s.
  • Josef Dreher, « A collection of theological and mystical texts describing the Prophet Muḥammad: the Jawāhir al-biḥār by Yūsuf b. Ismāʿīl al-Nabhānī », Ibidem, p. 255s.

Mrs. Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen

Catherine Mayeur-Jaouen is French and lives in Paris.

Professor of modern and contemporary history of the Arab and Muslim world at the Sorbonne since 2017.

Historian, specialist in religious history of the Arab World with a focus on modern and contemporary Egypt.

Graduate of the École normale supérieure, associate professor of history, licentiate in Arabic with diploma in Persian (INALCO), scientific member of Institut français d’archéologie orientale in Cairo 1989-1993 (doctorate 1992), lecturer in contemporary history at Paris-IV-Sorbonne 1993-2005, accredited to supervise research (2000), professor at INALCO 2005-2017, professor at the Sorbonne since 2017.


Personal works

  • Al-Sayyid Ahmad al-Badawî, un grand saint de l’islam égyptien, Institut français d’archéologie orientale, Le Caire, 1994, 608 pages.
  • Histoire d’un pèlerinage légendaire en islam. Le mouled de Tantâ du XIIIᵉ siècle à nos jours, Aubier, Paris, 2004, 272 pages.
  • The Mulid of al-Sayyid al-Badawi of Tanta. Egypt’s Legendary Sufi Festival, traduction par Colin Clement, American University in Cairo Press, Le Caire, 2019, 232 pages. (Revised and expanded translation of the book published in 2004, addition of a chapter on the pilgrimage from 2012 to 2016).
  • Pèlerinages d’Égypte, Histoire de la piété copte et musulmane (XVᵉ-XXᵉ siècles), Recherches d’histoire et de sciences sociales, 107, Éditions de l’EHESS, 2005, 445 pages. (Augustin Thierry Prize 2006 at the 9ᵗʰ Rendez-vous with history of Blois. Projected Arabic translation, Cairo).
  • Voyage en Haute-Égypte. Prêtres, coptes et catholiques, Paris, CNRS Éditions, 2019, 407 pages. (Special mention for the Literary Prize of l’Œuvre d’Orient, 2019. Albert Bernard Prize from the Academy of Overseas Sciences, 2019. Selected for the Grand Prize for Arab World History Days 2020).

Books in collaboration

  • With Mohammed Hocine Benkheira and Jacqueline Sublet, L’Animal en islam, Les Indes Savantes, Paris, 2005, 186 pages.
  • With Mohammed Hocine Benkheira, Avner Giladi and Jacqueline Sublet, La Famille en islam d’après les sources arabes, Les Indes Savantes, Paris, 2013, 539 pages.
  • With Anne-Laure Dupont and Chantal Verdeil, Le Moyen-Orient par les textes (XIXᵉ-XXIᵉ siècle), Armand Colin, Paris, 2011, 448 pages.
  • With Anne-Laure Dupont and Chantal Verdeil, Histoire du Moyen-Orient du XIXᵉ siècle à nos jours, Armand Colin, Paris, 2016, 480 pages. (Turkish translation, 2020. Revised and expanded reprint scheduled for late 2021).

Direction and co-direction of collective works or journal issues

  • With Anne-Laure Dupont (éd.), Débats intellectuels au Moyen-Orient dans l’entre-deux-guerres, REMMM 95-98, Édisud, mars 2002, 551 pages.
  • Saints et héros du Moyen-Orient contemporain, Maisonneuve et Larose. Paris, 2002, 354 pages.
  • With Bernard Heyberger (éd.), Le corps et le sacré en Orient musulman, REMMM n°s 113-114, Édisud, novembre 2006, 383 pages.
  • With Rachida Chih (éd.), Le soufisme à l’époque ottomane, Sufism in the Ottoman Era 16ᵗʰ-18ᵗʰ Century, IFAO, Le Caire, 2010, 442 pages.
  • With Alexandre Papas, (éd.), Family Portraits with Saints. Hagiography, Sanctity and Family in the Muslim World, Islamkundliche Untersuchungen, 316, Klaus Schwarz Verlag, Berlin, 2014, 462 pages.
  • With Rachida Chih et Rüdiger Seesemann (éd.), Sufism, Literary Production, and Printing in the 19ᵗʰ Century, Mitteilungen zur Sozial- und Kulturgeschichte der islamischen Welt, Ergon Verlag, Würzburg, 2015, 605 pages.
  • With Francesco Chiabotti, Eve Feuillebois-Pierunek and Luca Patrizi (éd.), Ethics and Spirituality in Islam: Sufi Adab, Brill, Leyde, 2017, 792 pages.
  • (éd.) Adab and modernity: a « civilising process » ? Actes du colloque de mai 2014, Brill, Leyde, 2019, 728 pages.
  • (éd.) réunion du numéro Recherche, histoire et coronavirus de la revue Enquêtes, Sorbonne Université, École doctorale 188, mai 2021.
  • (forthcoming), co-authored with Francesca Bellino and Luca Patrizi (éd.), L’adab, toujours recommencé/Re-Begun Adab, Actes du colloque de décembre 2016, Brill, Leyde.