IPRA’s second international conference: Geneses : comparative study of the historiographies of the rise of Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism and Islam

A certain triumphalist fatalism has long dominated the historiography of the rise of Christianity and that of the expansion of Islam. Eusebius and Jerome give the tone: they celebrate a Christian cult destined to renew a Roman Empire corrupted by decadent paganism and obsolete Judaism. That tune is still heard today, and still resonates even in the work of resolutely secular historians. The same is true of the historiography of the first centuries of Islam: the spread of the new religion in the conquered territories and the gradual conversion of the majority of the inhabitants of the dar al-islam is seen as somehow inevitable. In both cases, this adherence to traditional historiography reinforces an essentialist vision of Christianity and Islam, whereas a significant body of research over the last thirty years has shown the fluidity and malleability of these religious traditions.

This conference will study these theme in a comparative perspective, paying particular attention to the formation and expression of traditional narratives, competing narratives from other traditions (Karaism, Christianism from Ethiopia or Armenia, Manicheism, Khawarij shiism, etc.) and the reinterpretations of this narratives by the academic community during the 20th and 21st centuries.

This conference will take place on May 22, 23 and 24  at the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme Ange-Guépin, Nantes.

Free entrance — registration is preferable: nicolas.stefanni@univ-nantes.fr

09:30 Introduction – Allocutions d’ouverture  
10:00 Kate Cooper Unraveling Eusebius
10:30 N.M. el Cheikh Remembering (Re-reading) the Battle of Uhud
11:30 D. Shanzer The Twilight of the Ancient Gods
12:00 Discussions
14:00 G. el Masri The Arabic Revelation and Discursive Authority: Etymologia
14:30 Y. Kiel Reconstructing Abrahamic Heritage: A Zoroastrian Perspective
15:30 M. Herman Between Rabbis and Rabbanites: The Role of Qaraism and Islam in Shaping Geonic Presentations of the Oral Torah
16:00 Discussions  
09:30 T. Fishman The Place of Custom in the Legal Systems of Medieval Jews: A Historical Investigation of Regional Differences
10:00 C. Rapp Contested Ground: Hagiography and the Narrative of Triumphalist Christianity, Then and Now
11:00 M. Syed Methodological approaches to Hadith and early Islamic legal literature in the reconstruction of religious thought and social practices of the first 150 years of Islam
11:30 M. Benkheira Pour une réévaluation du rôle des épigones (tabiʿun) dans la formation de la doctrine juridique et rituelle de l’islam.
12:00 Discussions  
14:30 B. Caseau Historiographic considerations concerning the victory of Christianity over paganism: a victory over ruins?
15:00 K. Moukheiber Marriage and Sexual Ethics:Divergence and Change in Classical Islamic Legal Texts
16:00 D. McCrae Simon Magus’ Rome: Heresy and Paganism in the emergence of Christianity
16:30 Discussions  
18:00 N.M. el Cheikh Women, Islam and Abbasid Identity
09:30 S. Mourad The Shahada & the Creation of an Islamic Identity.
10:00 E. Grypeou The Conflict between Christianity and Paganism: Tales of Power and Perserverance in Late Antique Egypt
11:00 M. Tillier-Vanthieghem Une ère de la juridiction des croyants ou une sunna juridique ? Nouveaux apports à l’interprétation de sana/sunna qaḍā’ al-mu’iminīn
11:30 P. Wood Teaching early Islam: The gap between school and the internet
12:00 Discussions  
14:00 M. A. Nsiri A propos de quelques commentaires augustiniens de la Genèse
14:30 D. Boyarin The Origins of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam in the Book Khazar of Judah Halevi
15:00 Discussions  
15:30 Conclusions – D. Avon – J. Tolan


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