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Seventh Arab-Christian Days: Christians and Muslims debate over freedom

April 03, 20197:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Ambassadors’ Hall (at Calle Alcalá, 62, First Floor). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Spanish and French, without translation.

On Wednesday, April 3, Casa Árabe is hosting yet another edition of these events organized by San Dámaso University in Madrid, devoted this time to holding debates over the topic of freedom.

The debate over human freedom is a matter which has always been of interest to Arab society. A good example of this is the interest which arose amongst Arab philosophers and theologians of classical Islam, both Christian and Muslim. Al-Farabi and Avicenna  dealt with the question of whether man is free or predestined to fate. Christian theologians from John of Damascus to Yahya ben Adi, a Jacobite philosopher and disciple of Al-Farabi, searched for the perfect man able to use rationality to acquire the freedom that would lead him to desire and do good. These are two classical examples which illustrate how the topic of freedom is not alien to Arab culture.

These days will be presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe, Patricio de Navascués Benlloch, Dean of the San Justino Faculty of Christian and Classical Literature at San Dámaso University in Madrid, and Pilar González Casado, a professor of Christian Arab Literature at San Dámaso University.

“From Religion to Philosophy: Freedom in al-Fârâbî and Ibn Sînâ” will be given by Rafael Ramón Guerrero, a professor emeritus and department chair in Medieval Islamic Thought at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. His publications deal with medieval Arab and Jewish philosophy in the work of Al-Farabi, Averroes, Al-Kindi and Avicenna, covering a range of topics including tolerance, reason, intellect and freedom.

“Les théologiens Arabes chrétiens et la liberté au Moyen-âge” will be given by Emilio Platti, professor emeritus of the Catholic University of Leuven and the Dominican Institute for Oriental Studies in Cairo. (In French, without translation).Platti has written several works about Yahya ben Adi (893-974), a Jacobite Christian of the Aristotelian school of Baghdad whose teacher was Al-Farabi. He has had several of his dogmatic works published on the Trinity and the Incarnation in controversy with Muslims. He has also authored numerous publications about the relationship between Christianity and Islam, which has been the main subject of his teaching.

Event information sheet
Seventh Arab-Christian Days: Christians and Muslims debate over freedom
Manuscrito selyúcida del siglo XIII, “Sócrates con sus discípulos”.