PISAI is pleased to announce that its library has been enriched by a large number of volumes, in Arabic and in Western languages, from the private collection of Father Maurice Borrmans, of the Society of African Missionaries (White Fathers). The same library was dedicated to the memory of Father Borrmans during a ceremony held on February 17, 2018.
Father Maurice Borrmans died on the 26th December 2017 a Bry-sur-Marne, at the age of 92. Born in Lille on 22 October 1925, he studied theology in Lille and in Thibar, Tunisia, and was ordained priest on 1 February 1949. After obtaining his PhD in letters from the Paris-Sorbonne University, he lived for twenty years in Algeria and in Tunisia, before moving to Rome in 1964. From then on, Fr. Borrmans taught at the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) until 2004, when he began his ‘active retirement’ in Sainte Foy-lès-Lyon, France. Founder and, from 1975 to 2004, Director of the PISAI journal Islamochristiana, edited in English, French and Arabic, he has published countless essays and articles on Muslim-Christian dialogue and its most representative figures, working tirelessly and with enthusiasm until the end.
His active life was characterized by intense participation in talks, conferences and lectures, in most of the world and in particular in the Mediterranean capitals. His bibliography, published in Islamochristiana (1956-2004 in ISCH 31/2005, pp. 1-20; 2005-2017 in ISCH 43/2017, pp. 7-15), includes a long list of books and articles. The ‘Maurice Borrmans Collection’, currently being catalogued, includes many works in Western languages focusing on different disciplines of Arab-Islamic culture: Muslim-Christian and interreligious dialogue and biographies of relevant figures in this field, legal texts, philosophy, theology, linguistics, history, studies on Eastern Christian churches, biblical texts. Less numerous, but still interesting, some works of geography, ethnography, literature and art.
The works in Arabic mainly concern Islamic law, the subject of specialization of Father Borrmans, and Muslim-Christian dialogue.