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Congress ‘Islam and Otherness’ – 2021-2022


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Let’s meet in Lebanon

Already postponed by one year during the first European Coronavirus wave, our Congress was scheduled to take place in April 2021 in Beirut. In view of the many restrictions still in force in many countries, the PLURIEL coordination committee decided to reshape the congress ‘Islam and Otherness’ in two stages:

A first stage online (webinar) on April 13th, 2021, with part of the initial programme

A second stage in the form of a conference and study stay in Beirut, from Tuesday May 24th to Friday May 27th, 2022.

Theme “Islam and Otherness”

True acceptance of otherness in a globalized and pluralistic world allows us to measure the capacity of religious, philosophical or political thought to fit in and assume the contemporary societal dynamics inherent to globalization (Taylor). This acceptance is not devoid of resistance that stem from the rise of entrenched identity expressions founded in particularly on a vision of equality that is based on the “similar” which assumes a historical-ethnic (Rosanvallon) [1]  or religious identity.

The congress ‘Islam and Otherness’ proposes to reflect on how Islam fits into this societal movement beyond identity resistance.

Three axes will allow us to approach the reality of otherness in Islam in terms of resources: geopolitical axis, dialogue axis and citizenship axis (muwatana).

[1] Pierre Rosanvallon, La Société des égaux, Paris, Seuil, 2011.

Download the call for paper : FRENAR

Webinar ‘Islam and Otherness – Focus Lebanon’

In opening to the 3rd International Congress of PLURIEL, which will exceptionally extend over two years, we offered a one-afternoon webinar on Tuesday 13 April 2021 from 3pm to 7pm.

Download PDF Programme

Watch replay videos

Video presentation

In October 2019, the scientific committee of the Congress “Islam and Otherness” met at the Catholic Institute of Paris to work on the elaboration of the congress. This was an opportunity to produce a video in which each member of the committee took the floor to explain their vision of the theme and the challenges of such a scientific meeting.

Webinar ” Islam and Otherness – Focus Lebanon “

13 April 2021 from 3pm to 7pm (GMT+02:00 – Paris) –

Watch replay videosDownload PDF Programme

3.00PM: Opening words, Michel YOUNÈS (France), general coordinator of PLURIEL

3.15: Introduction to the theme of the Congress “Islam and Otherness”, Emmanuel PISANI (France), Director of the Institute of Sciences and Theology of Religions (ICP, Paris) and Director of the Dominican Institute of Oriental Studies (Cairo)

3.30: Lecture: The question of otherness in classical Islam (In French). Raja SAKRANI (Germany), Lecturer and researcher in law, scientific coordinator at the Käte Hamburger Centre for Advanced Study “Law as Culture” (Bonn)

Argument: How did Muslims represent each other? This is a questioning overloaded with history, memory and narrative Islamic identity that is difficult to decode. Fourteen long centuries of conquests and defeats, inclusion and exclusion, tolerance and intolerance. Understanding the normative and sociological relationship of Islam with its medieval and contemporary otherness necessarily implies questioning the immense theological and legal corpus of the classical age. In this context, the exploration not only of the text but also of the context is essential. From the birth of the last monotheistic religion in Arabia, through the expansion of the empire and the golden age oscillating between Baghdad and Cordoba, to the establishment of the Ottoman Empire, the perception of non-Islamic otherness went through several phases. However, the Arab-Muslim mechanism of the transmission of memory, in the first place, favours the collective consciousness of belonging to the Islamic community. This makes the interweaving of the normative corpus, the social realities and the modus vivendi of the management of the other, as well as the imaginary representations of the latter, difficult to discern.

4:00: Respondents :

* Geopolitical axis, Michaela QUAST-NEULINGER (Austria), University Assistant at the Institute for Systematic Theology, University of Innsbruck. (In English)

* Dialogical axis: Tobias SPECKER (Germany), Assistant Professor for “Catholic Theology in the Light of Islam” at the University of Philosophy and Theology of Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt. (In English)

* Citizenship axis: Alessandro FERRARI (Italy), Professor of Comparative Religious Law. Director of REDESM, University of Insubria, Como, Italy (In French)

4.30: Discussion with the audience

5.00: Break

5.15: Introduction to the question ‘Islam and otherness in Lebanon’, Roula TALHOUK, Director of the Centre for Documentation and Islamic-Christian Research (CEDRIC) – Saint-Joseph University of Beirut.

5.30: Lecture : The view of Lebanese Islam on the other: what specificity? (In French). Salim DACCACHE, Rector of Saint Joseph University since 2012. Doctor of Letters and Philosophy and in Educational Sciences.

Argument: How does Lebanese Islam look at the other, the Christian, its counterpart in living together nowadays? In this brief reflection, taking into account the varied discourse of Sunni and Shiite Islam, even Druze (1) to identify some data on the image of the other at the level of education, (2) to present some points of view of contemporary thinkers, (3) to underline the positive points of this multiple discourse as well as its limits. In the end, what makes the Lebanese Muslim perspective on the other specific?

6.00: Lecture: Why are Christians and Muslims rethinking their life together on the eve of the first centenary of the proclamation of Greater Lebanon? (In French). Amin ELIAS, Assistant Professor in History at Antonine University and the Lebanese University

Argument: On the eve of the first centenary of the proclamation of the State of Greater Lebanon (September 1, 1920), this intervention proposes to expose and analyse the position of Muslims in Lebanon towards this proclamation as well as their attitude towards the experience of “living together” with Christians.

6:20: Lecture: Islam and Otherness : A Muslim theologian’s viewpoint. (In French or English) Nayla TABBARAtheologian, ph.D in Religious Sciences, President of Adyan Foundation, Lecturer at Saint Joseph University

The Why and How of a New Theology of Religion in Islam
The question of salvation
The perception of the other and the perception of the self

6.40: Discussion with the audience

7.00: End of the webinar


Conference in Beirut

The second stage of the congress in the form of a conference and study stay is scheduled from Tuesday May 24th to Friday May 27th, 2022 in Beirut.

Below is the preliminary programme as of August 2020. It may be subject to adaptation due to the reshaping of the Congress.

It is our wish to preserve the entire programme.

Keynote Speeches

The other in Islamic civilization: from the immanence of cultures to divine transcendence.  | Raja SAKRANI (Germany), Jurist and Cultural Science scholar at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study “Law as Culture”, University of Bonn

Islam and otherness, what challenges for education in a context of plurality?  | Salim DACCACHE (Lebanon), Rector of Université Saint Joseph

Islam and the Salvation of non-Muslims: The Qur’anic Perspective.  |  Gabriel Said REYNOLDS (USA), University of Notre Dame

Geopolitical Approach

ADRAOUI Mohamed-Ali / USA
Islamists and international relations. What is their world view and their diplomatic practices? Global emergence, evolution and amendment of a culturalist and antagonistic theory
SENIGUER Haoues / France
Sunni Muslim integralism in the face of (a)confessional otherness, between theology and politics: social adaptability, theological inertia?
TORTOLINI Alessia / Italy

Swinging Foreign Policy: The Iranian Umma in International Relations
BRODEUR Patrice / Canada

Twentieth century transformations in Arab Muslim perceptions of religious Others.

EVIRGEN Yusuf / Turkey 
Understanding post-Islamists’ ‘Othering’: The AK Party Case from 2002 to 2011
NESTOROVIC Cédomir / Singapour

The Muslim as ‘other’ in the former Yugoslavia
VASFI Mohamed Reza / Iran / Austria

The rights of non-Muslims in Iran, and how it relates to šarīʿa
ALAM Anwar / India

Muslims and Islamic responses to Hindu Society and Constitutional liberalism in India
SETTOUL Elyamine / France

Being a Muslim in the French armies. Between trivialisation and otherness.

Dialogal Approach

CAUCANAS Rémi / France / Kenya
Islamic-Christian relations in East Africa: late experience or model to follow?
EL FIRM Mohamed / Morocco

The Construction of Otherness through Education: An Evaluation of Moroccan Religious Textbooks
NAJM Jafar / Iraq

Christians between the Sufi Islam mainstream and the interpretations of liberal Islam / A look into the future of doctrinal dogmatism
SHEIKH Naveed / UK

Otherness in the Constitution of Medina – Revisiting the Foundations of Islamic Politics in an Age of Schism

BREIDY Vanessa / Italy
Unity of God and unity in God – a possible perspective and way of dialogue between the believers?
DEMICHELIS Marco / Spain
Islamic Christology (Kristūlūjīā) and Christian Monotheism (al-Tawḥīd). A dialogical debate for contemporary on ’Ibn/’Abnā’ and the Active/Essential God’s Attributes.
MARUSEK Sarah / South Africa
Islam and Otherness: A Liberation Theology Approach

AIT KABBOURA Mounia / Canada
Radical evil and the Canadian multiculturalist otherness
ARBACHE Samir / France

Religious and Cultural Otherness: Debating Issues in Islam
MOSTFA Ali  / France

The Other and Otherness in the Arabic Language and Culture
RICHARD Thomas / France

Medieval Islam in the cinema. A dialogue in four films

Citizenship Approach

BOUCHIBA Farid / France
Dār al-islām and dār al-ḥarb in contemporary Muslim thought
YASSNI Yassine / Morocco
Black as the Other in Islamic Culture
GAMAL Mohamed / Egypt
The concept of “citizenship” in the Azhari discourse. Problems and contradictions
DRHIMEUR Amina / Germany
The “us” against the “others”, the populist political style of the Islamist party the PJD

DIAB Issa / Lebanon
Islam’s attitude towards the Christians and the Jews in Sayyid Qutb’s approach and its contemporary extensions
FLEYFEL Antoine / France / Lebanon
The other in the Muslim Brotherhood’s tought. Hassan al- Banna and Sayyid Qutb
KARACA Asli / Turkey
Institutionalized Islam in Personal Status Laws and Challenged Position of Women as ‘the Other’
SALEH Wael / Canada
The representation of non-Islamist Muslims in Sunni Islamist discourse: an intra-religious otherness?

BOUTAHAR Youssef / Morocco
Re-problematizing the Religious Majority-Minority Dialectics in Post-Arab Spring Morocco: Between Subalternity and Digital Disobedience
ANSORGE Dirk / Germany
Embracing the Other: Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri‘s. Approach to Human Rights and Democracy
HASHAS Mohammed / Italy
The Other in Trusteeship Paradigm of Taha Abderrahmane: Prospects and Limitations
MAREI Fouad Gehad / Germany
From the Throes of Anguished Mourning: Shi’i Ritual Practice and Post-Secular Modes of Socialization




Congress in Beirut

If you already have your tickets for the initial dates in April 2020, they are still valid for the Congress in Beirut in 2022.

If you would like a refund, please send us an email to

The Congress ticket office will be reopened at a later date.