On Thursday, 4 November 2021, the academic community of PISAI held a seminar with Jean-Pierre Filiu, professor of Middle Eastern history at Sciences Po (Paris) and author of numerous publications. Before his teaching career, from 1988 to 2006, Filiu served as diplomat in several places in the Arab world. Professor Filiu’s presence at the PISAI was organized in collaboration with the Institut français - Centre Saint-Louis, the cultural center of the French Embassy to the Holy See, represented on this occasion by its director François-Xavier Adam.
In his presentation, Prof. Filiu summarized and discussed his latest book, entitled Le milieu des mondes: une histoire laïque du Moyen-Orient de 395 à nos jours (Seuil, Paris 2021). With his proposal of a “secular history” of the Middle East, Jean-Pierre Filiu shows convincingly that the history of the region is not dictated first and foremost by religious or ideological choices, but by political realities whose religious component is only one element among others. The presentation was followed by a fruitful moment of exchange with the participants.