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Islam and Otherness: Contextualizations, Transformations, and Influences

The research group at the Catholic University of Lyon has delved into the question of religious otherness, following their examination of authority and regulation in Islam. Using cross-disciplinary perspectives that involve dogmas, discourse, doctrines and reference texts, the contributions aim to examine, from a specific approach (philosophical, theological, political, religious, anthropological, historical), the plurality of forms, places, and perspectives that allow for considering the normative values that govern the relationship with the other.

The researchers approach the encounter with otherness in terms of contextualizations, transformations, and influences. Areas of focus include:

  • An examination of texts and discourse
  • An examination of religious institutions
  • A study of geographical contexts
  • An examination of figures

This investigation critically examines the dialectical relationship between the self and the other, with the goal of evaluating the various ways in which the relationship with others is defined, transformed, and confronted. Far from any naive idealism, the relational structure underlying the acceptance of the other and their specific point of view is a modality behind which some of the figures of otherness are inscribed.

The proposed analyses remain attentive to the perspective of actors who refer to Islam towards non-Muslims and the possible dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as the possible intra-Muslim dialogue. This research angle aims to shed light on the comparison of the internal perspective with the external perspective, leading to a clarification of the contours of a belief that could reveal a form of exclusivism. The question then arises of the criteria that authorize the reception or not of the different other and the identification of places of resistance. The objective is to examine the dynamics that lead from exclusion to reception and those that allow for the transformation of the motives for rejection in the other.

Following the 2022 congress in Beirut, this research group plans to explore further this theme through other research axes.

Group members

Jean-Claude Angoula

Director of the St. Augustine College of Dakar, Senegal, Institute of Philosophy and Theology

Malek Chaïeb

Research fellow at CECR, UCLy

Bénédicte Du Chaffaut

Researcher at the Centre d'Etudes des Cultures et des Religions of the Catholic University of Lyon

Yosra Garmi

Ph. D in Arab studies, ENS Lyon,

Geneviève Gobillot

Professor Emeritus, Specialisation in Arab and Islamic Studies, University of Lyon 3, Jean Moulin

Florence Javel

Doctoral student at the Catholic University of Lyon

Benjamin Latouche

Parish priest and formation officer for the diocese of Valence (France)

Mohamed-Ali Mostfa

Lecturer on the Arab-Muslim world and intercultural representations - Catholic University of Lyon.

Haoues Seniguer

Senior Lecturer in Political Science at Science Po Lyon

Michel Younès

Professor of Theology and Islam Studies, Deputy Director of the Research Unit "CONFLUENCE Sciences & Humanités", Director of the Centre for the Study of Cultures and Religions (CECR) - UCLy

Samir Arbache

Professor in theology and history of religions, doctor in philosophy and letters: studies on the Arab world - Catholic University of Lille.

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