Pluriel

University platform for research on Islam

Initiated by
the Federation
of European
Catholic
Universities

Supported by
the International
Federation
of Catholic
Universities

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French

2022

Islam and Christianity: mutual views and challenges of otherness

In his book Soi-même comme un autre (Seuil 1990), the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) builds his reflection on this ‘as’ which, according to him, allows us to escape from two harmful tendencies: the self-sufficiency of an exalted self on the one hand, and the erasure of an annihilated self on the other. In both cases, the question of otherness appears to be crucial. However, since their emergence, Christianity and Islam have developed a discourse on the other by summoning several types of notions. Our presentation will start from the current context where the category of the other is often used either to be overtaken by that of the same (same root, same God, same value…) or to legitimise an exteriority that makes it incompatible to be together (the other becomes so other that he or she is opposed to me). It will attempt to define some reflexive lines of enquiry to question what lies behind the polemics and the unspoken.

Lecture given at the 3rd International Congress of the PLURIEL network, 23-27 May 2022 in Beirut.
In partnership with Saint Joseph University of Beirut and La Sagesse University.

Dans son livre Soi-même comme un autre (Seuil 1990), le philosophe français Paul Ricoeur (1913-2005) construit sa réflexion à partir de ce « comme » qui permet selon lui d’échapper à deux tendances néfastes : l’autosuffisance d’un soi exalté d’un côté et l’effacement d’un soi annihilé de l’autre. Dans les deux cas, la question de l’altérité apparaît comme étant cruciale. Or, depuis leur émergence, le christianisme et l’islam ont développé un discours sur l’autre en convoquant plusieurs types de notions. Notre intervention partira du contexte actuel où la catégorie de l’autre est souvent convoquée soit pour être dépassée par celle du même (même racine, même Dieu, même valeur…) soit pour légitimer une extériorité qui rend incompatible d’être ensemble (l’autre devient tellement autre qu’il s’oppose à moi). Elle tentera de définir quelques pistes réflexives pour questionner ce qui est sous-jacent aux polémiques et aux non-dits.

Conférence donnée lors du 3è congrès international du réseau PLURIEL, du 23 au 27 mai 2022 à Beyrouth.
En partenariat avec l’Université Saint Joseph de Beyrouth et l’Université La Sagesse.

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