Activities of research

Studying the heritage of islam

The Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies (IDEO) in Cairo is a renowned research centre dedicated to the in-depth study of the Islamic heritage. Ideo’s work is multidisciplinary and includes theological, philosophical, linguistic and historical research.

Idéo researchers explore classical Islamic texts, such as the Qur’an and the ḥadīths, Qur’anic commentaries and theological or mystical treatises, Arabic grammar, treatises on heresiology and interreligious polemics, with the aim of better understanding their historical context and contemporary interpretation. They also engage in comparative studies between Islam and Christianity, with a view to laying and fostering the foundations of interreligious dialogue.

Research is conducted through weekly seminars between researchers and open seminars aimed at sharing knowledge and renewing perspectives for fellow Islamologists or a wider public (dissemination of knowledge). The Institute’s researchers organise conferences and colloquia, teach courses and regularly publish their work in specialised journals, thereby contributing to the enrichment of the field of Oriental studies.

Thanks to their ongoing efforts and their dual expertise (Christian theology and Islamology), Idéo researchers play a key role in furthering knowledge of Islam. Ideo’s research contributes both to a better understanding of Islam and to offering a new theological perspective on Islam, thereby promoting inter-religious dialogue.

Research seminar

Seminar on the salafs followed by a symposium


Salafism is a theological ideology that presents a discourse characterised by exclusivist forms in which the other is rejected. In the name of the salafs, certain currents of Islam create for themselves a bubble impervious to all modern questions. While this theological rhetoric is based on Islamic tradition and draws on the traditional teachings and lives of the salafs, we need to look at history to find out who these salafs were? What was their impact? How have they been mobilised in history? Was it a new ideological discourse at odds with the teaching of Muslim thinkers in their own context? The aim of this seminar is to work together with Muslim scholars on a question that is both urgent and difficult in the Egyptian context.

The seminar will give rise to a colloquium in 2025.


The seminar will be published and broadcast on the Open edition website.

Seminars program 2023-2024 : On hold


Study days on literalism - 15th to 17th of february 2024

Problematic and societal issues

Literalism is a reading of texts that aims to be faithful to the original meaning of a text. But what is the original meaning? Aren’t there many possible interpretations of the letter itself? Many fundamentalist currents adopt a literalist reading and justify their acts of violence, their separatism and their opposition with a literalist frame of reference.

Scientific contribution

The study days will address epistemological questions and show how the reading of sacred texts can emancipate itself from literalist readings. The aim will also be to establish a typology of readings according to the different Abrahamic religions.


Researchers from the three monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam).


The conference will be published and broadcast on the Openedition website.

International symposium (2024) : Human brotherhood - Abu Dhabi symposium

On 6 February 2019, Pope Francis and Ahmad al-Tayyeb signed the document on human brotherhood. In 2024 PLURIEL is organising an international congress in Abu Dhabi to assess the reception of this document and to delve deeper from a legal, political and theological perspective into the issues raised by the document: discrimination, the minority/majority relationship, citizenship, women, education, views of the other, the East-West dichotomy, etc.

→ Objective: to support the possibility of participating and giving a paper after a positive evaluation by the scientific council to women or men whose project has been selected, to allow the participation in the Congress of young people and women whose paper has not been selected but who show an interest in the theme of the Congress, to encourage the participation of young people from the Middle East and playing a civil role in Egyptian society, to encourage the participation of young Copts and Muslims who can on their return become actors and leaders of the circles of fraternity.

→ Partners: PLURIEL (University platform for research on Islam in Europe and Lebanon), which brings together 180 researchers, Trend (Emirati think tank), etc.

→ Creation of circles: Following the Congress, we are planning to create international “human fraternity” circles led by young people from the Middle East who are sensitive to the theme, in order to continue the spirit and reflection generated by the Congress on fraternity. Care will be taken to ensure that members of religious minorities and women participate in these circles.