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CALL FOR PAPERS: The literal meaning, between Christian worlds and Muslim worlds (7ᵗʰ‒15ᵗʰ centuries)

février 15 @ 9:00 am - février 17 @ 5:00 pm

The literal meaning, between Christian worlds and Muslim worlds (7ᵗʰ‒15ᵗʰ centuries)

Conference organized at the Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies (Cairo)
February 15ᵗʰ‒17ᵗʰ, 2024

From February 15ᵗʰ to 17ᵗʰ, 2024, the IDEO will organize an international conference entitled “The literal meaning, between Christian worlds and Muslim worlds (7ᵗʰ‒15ᵗʰ centuries)”

By pointing the finger at the “literalism” or “fundamentalism” of this or that religious movement, current events willingly bring to the forefront the notion of the literal meaning of sacred texts, whether it is claimed as the only authentic meaning or denounced as an oversimplification. The apparent simplicity of the literal meaning, presented as the obvious meaning of a text, beyond any interpretation or hermeneutic approach, is nevertheless called into question by studies of linguistics, which have long shown that it is a constructed meaning, whose definition always presupposes a hermeneutic framework, even if it is implicit1.

With regard to the hermeneutics of the holy texts of Christianity and Islam, it is through medieval debates that these frames of reference, which have already been the subject of numerous studies, were established. For the Christian West, from the pioneering works of Henri de Lubac2 and Beryl Smalley3 to the rich synthesis of Gilbert Dahan4, the history of the progressive conception and canonization of multiple meanings is now known, showing in particular the essential role played by the historia (or littera): far from being the forgotten element of medieval Latin exegesis, it is, on the contrary, affirmed not only as the foundation of the spiritual senses, but also as a rich sense in itself, which can be analyzed at different levels. This harmony elaborated by scholarly hermeneutics does not prevent the existence of spiritual movements with a claimed strict literalism. This richness of studies on Latin hermeneutics contrasts, however, with their weakness with regard to other Christian worlds, notably the Byzantine universe.

Please continue to read on the IDEO website.

Papers will be given in English.

The conference will take place from February 15ᵗʰ to 17ᵗʰ, 2024 in Cairo. Proposals for papers should be sent ( before June 30ᵗʰ, 2023. The papers will be published in the Mélanges de l’Institut dominicain d’études orientales.


Début :
février 15 @ 9:00 am
Fin :
février 17 @ 5:00 pm