On 5-6 October 2017 the international conference “Revolution and Evolution in Islamic Thought and History” was held in the RAS Institute of Philosophy as part of the academic programme “Revolution, evolution and cultural dialogue” timed to coincide with the centennial of the Russian revolution. This conference also coincided with the 10th anniversary of cooperation between the Islamic Culture Research Foundation and the RAS Institute of Philosophy.
After a presentation devoted to the history of cooperation between the Foundation and the Institute, Andrey Smirnov, director of the Institute of Philosophy, delivered a welcoming speech.
He said that cooperation with the Foundation was an integral part of the Institute's academic policy:
“The Institute’s academic policy implies that the diverse nature of the world philosophy is not limited to the Western philosophy only, but includes philosophical traditions of other cultures, other civilizations, other regions, including the region of Islamic civilization”.
The academician Smirnov shared his impressions from the ten-year cooperation with the Foundation, which was full of events and achievements, one of the most important ones being publication of the “Philosophical thought of Islamic world” academic literature series.
This series was launched in 2009, when the book of Ilshat Nasyrov, “The foundations of Islamic mysticism” was published. Today the series includes 14 books, and a number of monographs are expected to be published soon.
The Institute’s director also mentioned the international yearbook on Islamic philosophy, Ishrak, which is a common initiative of the RAS Institute of Philosophy and the Iranian Institute of Philosophy and is published with the support of the Islamic Culture Research Foundation.
Apart from that, according to the director, an illustrative example of the cooperation between the Institute and the Foundation is the project called “The scattered and the organized”. It was launched in 2013 at a same-name joint conference, which resulted in publication of the first volume of the joint monograph entitled “The scattered and the organized: cognitive methods of the Arab Muslim culture”. In 2017 the second volume of “The scattered and the organized: cognitive methods of the Arab Muslim culture” was issued, which was twice as thick as the first one.
In his speech the academician Smirnov clearly defined the specific features of philosophical Oriental studies:
“It is impossible to study Islamic philosophy without a professional knowledge in Oriental and Islamic studies…and any expert in Islamic studies (be it a literary expert, historian or someone else), is an implicit philosopher…because while working in his area, if it is a serious work, he is bound to insert this area in the integrity of Islamic culture. This is not something separated from this integrity. This is a holistic approach, which is an implicitly philosophical approach. Therefore, our research must be conducted in cooperation with all experts in Islamic studies”.
In conclusion, the director of the Institute of Philosophy welcomed the Iranian guests, first of all the president of the Iranian Philosophical Society, professor Aavani; the director of the Iranian Institute of Philosophy, professor Hosrowpanah; professor of Iranian Institute for Humanities Miri Manig, and the research assistant of the Iranian Institute of Philosophy Mahdi Abdollahi, as well as the guests from Saint Petersburg and Lugansk — Vladimir Drozdov and Faris Nofal. After paying his respects to Natalya Prigarina, he addressed the head of the Cultural Representative office under the Embassy of Iran in Russia, Reza Maliki, president of the Islamic Culture Research Foundation Hamid Hadavi and the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Iran in Russia, professor Mehdi Sanai.
Photo by Fathollah Zoghi