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The Great Work of Ibn Khaldun

Tunis 20~22 February 2006

Organised by the Ezzitouna University and by the office for studies, education and information of the Ministry for Religious Affairs, the conference on 'the religious dimension of the work of Ibn Khaldûn' analysed the work of the author of the monumental Discourse on Universal History on the sixth centenary of the death of this famous Tunisian historian. It is impossible to evoke the richness of the papers given at this conference (almost all of which were in Arabic) which ranged from the education of Ibn Khaldûn to the role of the Koran and religious sciences in his work, to the relationship between the traditional and the rational in his theory of knowledge, to his creative use of Asharism, and on to the specific exegetic points of the Muqaddima (the notion of 'dyeing of God', the concept of asabiyya, the relationship with Sufism and the occult sciences etc.). There was also an analysis of the vision of Khladini of the Peoples of the Book and his notes on the Bible and Jerusalem in the Muqaddima. The final session was concluded with an important paper by the Minister for Religious Affairs, Professor Abû Bakr al-Akhzûrî. Three other cultural events will be held in Tunis to celebrate the sixth centenary of the death of Ibn Khaldûn.