MA students attend course at FLTP in Paris

MA students attend course at Faculté Libre de Théologie Protestante de Paris

From 22 to 29 November 2008, a group of first year MA in Muslim Cultures students attended a short course in Paris at the Faculté Libre de Théologie Protestante (FLTP). The course, 'Approaching Early Oriental Christianity, Scriptures and Traditions' involved a number of seminars, lectures and discussion sessions covering a range of topics.

The students began the week with a seminar at the Institute Orthodox Saint-Serge (IOSS) entitled 'Orient-West: Crisis or Conversation?' Oliver Abel, formerly a visiting lecturer at AKU-ISMC, introduced what he considers to be 'problems' with modernity as discussed in Western traditions.

During the week, sessions held at FLTP covered subjects related to several aspects of Christianity and the interpretation of texts, including the New Testament. Students were also introduced to a textual study of the Old Testament, where they engaged in analysis of various passages from the text. Organised as workshops, the sessions enabled participants to engage in lively discussions with faculty members.

Although students were primarily engaged in academic seminars and workshops, they were also able to attend cultural activities in Paris. On one evening a number of students attended the UNESCO theatre hall, where twelve centuries of the history of Fez, Morocco was being celebrated through photography, song, dance and food.

On their last day in Paris, students visited the Institut du Monde Arabe. Designed by Jean Nouvel, the building is notable for having received an Aga Khan Award for Architecture during the fourth award cycle (1987-1989).

By attending seminars and workshops, hosted by partner institutions, AKU-ISMC's MA students are exposed to a wide range of ideas and teaching methods. In addition to the Language Immersion Programme, students have participated in a number of field trips and cultural activities organised by the Institute.

As well as the Faculté Libre de Théologie Protestante, AKU-ISMC has academic linkages with numerous institutions including, the Catholic University of Portugal, the School of Oriental and African Studies in the UK, Simon Fraser University in Canada and the University of Texas in the USA. Partnerships and linkages with institutions both in the UK and abroad serve to expand the reach of the Institute, both intellectually and geographically.

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