Professor Mohamed Arkoun great Islamic scholar and a « smuggler » between religions, died Tuesday evening in Paris at the age of 82, has announced a close relative, Father Christian Delorme.
This Algerian was professor emeritus of history of Islamic thought at the University of Sorbonne in Paris and one of the initiators of the dialogue. Mohamed Arkoun was born in 1928 in Taourit-Mimoun, a small village in Kabylia (north-eastern Algeria), in a very modest family. After attending elementary school in his village, he went to high school with the White Fathers in Oran (northwest) and had studied Arabic literature, law, philosophy and geography at the University of Algiers.
Through the intervention of the University teacher Louis Massignon, said Christian Delorme, he was able to prepare aggregation in Arabic language and literature at the Sorbonne University. He then taught at several universities before being appointed in 1980, professor at the Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris III. He teaches the history of Islamic thought and develops a discipline: Applied Islamology.
Since 1993, he was professor emeritus at the Sorbonne, but he continued to lecture around the world. Mohamed Arkoun was convinced that the historical event of "the word become Koranic text" had not benefited from the scientific interest he deserved, and that huge construction sites remained open. For him, the "three definitions of revelation "the Jewish definition, the Christian definition and Muslim definition could not be separated, and their study brings to each lighting.
In 2008, he directed the development of the "History of Islam and Muslims in France from the Middle Ages to the Present time", an encyclopedic work which had been attended by many historians and researchers (Albin Michel) and which tells and explains a common history.