Eminent Lectures

Eminent Lectures

  • Readings of the Contemporary Religious Discourse
  • 11 Jun 2011
  • Yohanna Kolta and Mahmoud Azab
  •  Father Yohanna Kolta is the Deputy Patriarch of Catholics in Cairo. He graduated from the Catholic University and got his Ph.D. in Arabic Studies from Cairo University in 1982. He is also a Professor of Arabic Civilization at the Catholic Church. He wrote 10 books, most important of which is The French Civilization’s Impact on Taha Hussein’s Literature. He is a journalist and lecturer in a number of Italian and French Universities.


    Dr. Mahmoud Azab is the Advisor of Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam for Dialogue, and Director of Al-Azhar’s Center of Dialogue since 2010. He got his Masters’ degree in Semitic Languages from Al-Azhar in 1976, and his Ph.D. in Arts and Human Sciences from the Sorbonne University in Paris. In 1994, he worked as a Professor of Semitic Languages and Civilizations at Al-Azhar University. He participated in many conferences of International dialogue, Semitic civilizations and Islamic ideology in Europe, Asia and Africa. He wrote several books in the fields of Islamic Ideology and Civilization, Sufi Poetry, Quranic Sciences and Interpretation, available in Arabic and French.

  • Abstract

  • In his speech, Father Yohanna Kolta tackled the current religious discourse in Egypt, and criticized its inability to cope up with the changing realities of modernity, which paved the way for sectarian tension. He also criticized politicizing religion and mixing faith with religiosity. However, he stressed the solidarity and unity between Christians and Muslims in Egypt, and described Al-Azhar as the most influential bastion for moderate religious discourse. Dr. Mahmoud Azab addressed the status quo on the religious, cultural and scientific levels, and highlighted the importance of adhering to the core beliefs of Islam; tolerance and respect of the other. He also stressed the role of Al-Azhar in the religious discourse, and spoke about the Al-Azhar-led initiative “Family Home” which gathers Muslim and Coptic religious figures to combat sectarian strife.

  • To view the complete lecture in Arabic through the webcast service, please click here.