On the occasion of the 700th anniversary of the death of Ramon Llull, on 21 October the Institut Ramon Llull (IRL), the Institut du Monde Arabe (IMA) and the European Institute of the Mediterranean (IEMed) are organising a day of studies on the relation between Llull and Islam. The IMA symposium will bring together writers and students of Islam, Mediaeval thought and the history of science in the Maghreb in order to rediscover, through lectures and round tables, the close ties between the Arab world and the Mallorcan philosopher and thinker, who travelled the Mediterranean preaching access to the Christian faith through logic. To close it the Mallorcan singer Maria del Mar Bonet will give the concert ‘Alenar Llull’, a kaleidoscope of sounds of the Mediterranean coasts which take Llull’s work as the central source of inspiration.
The aim of the symposium ‘Ramon Llull (1232-1315) and Islam: a demanding dialogue’ is to show the links between Llull and Arab culture and their mutual influences. The writer Tahar Ben Jelloun will open it with the lecture ‘The difficulties of dialogue in the Mediterranean’, whilst experts such as Víctor Pallejà, Dominique de Courcelles or Dominique d’Urvoy will take part in two round tables about Llull’s thought in L’Ars and the development of science and philosophy in Al-Andalus in the late 13th century. Also taking part in the symposium will be Manuel Forcano, director of the IRL, and François Zabbal, director of seminars and debates at the IMA.
Ramon Llull had a broad knowledge of Arabic and the Muslim religion, so much so that in some of his works he calls himself ‘christianus arabicus’. His interest in Islam can be explained by his purpose of spreading and explaining Christian doctrine to non-Christians so that they could understand it without difficulty, that is, through their own culture and with cultural elements that were familiar to them. That is why he has such a close relation with Muslim thought, which even led him to write in Arabic, although those volumes have only survived in their Latin version.
‘Alenar Llull’ : Maria del Mar Bonet sings Llull
To close the symposium, the Mallorcan singer Maria del Mar Bonet, one of the best known Catalan voices, will give the recital ‘Alenar Llull’ a the IMA Auditorium on Friday 21 October at 20.00.
With the title ‘Alenar Llull’, Maria del Mar Bonet revives songs from two of the outstanding albums of her long career: the evocative, poetic ‘Alenar’ (1977), which soon became a cult record; and ‘Amic Amat’ (2004), recorded with Moslem Rahal, musical director of the instrumental group Cham Ensemble de Damas, which takes as its source of inspiration Ramon Lull’s book Llibre d’amic e amat.
In Paris Maria del Mar Bonet will be accompanied by Dani Espasa at the piano; Vicens Solsona on guitar; Tobal Rentero on archlute and mandolin; Jordi Gaspar on bass and Antonio Sánchez and Aleix Tobias on percussion. Moslem Rahal will also be taking part in the concert as guest artist.
The Institut Ramon Llull is in charge of the Llull Year international programme, which is being held to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the Mallorcan thinker Ramon Llull, the most universal of Catalan authors. With 275 books written in Latin, Catalan and Arabic Llull made remarkable contributions to the knowledge of his time, especially in the fields of philosophy and theology, but also in law, medicine, astronomy, rhetoric and logic. The programme has consisted of events held all over Europe, America and North Africa during the year, including a travelling exhibition which has visited a number of European universities and over 50 activities: concerts, poetic lectures and academic and literary encounters.
The symposium is part of the Llull Year international programme to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the death of the Mallorcan philosopher
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