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Research Grant for Preaching Project

02 April 2024

Karène Sanchez-Summerer, professor of Middle Eastern Studies, has been awarded a grant from the Agence Nationale de la Recherche (ANR, the French equivalent of NWO), for the research project PredicMo, which will study preaching. The project, which starts this year and will last until 2028, is a collaboration with the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilizations in Marseille.

Preaching is seen as a way to persuade people to believe, and it is carried out by individuals or groups to form or strengthen a religious community. Preaching is something that all three Abrahamic religions - Judaism, Christianity, and Islam - have in common. However, preaching has not been extensively studied from this connected perspective.

The PredicMo project focuses on studying preaching from this shared perspective. The project spans from the 19th to the 21st century and aims to establish a common 'grammar' of preaching, as a set of principles, rules, strategies, and models, in all their variations.

The project focuses on preaching aimed at persuading people, especially during religious crises, rather than just caring for souls. Preaching as a way to shape belief has constantly evolved since the late 19th century, and preachers have played a significant role in changing religious and political ideas in the Middle East. However, there is no comprehensive archive of their work. Therefore, the project also aims to create a catalogue and collection of sermons accessible to everyone, including an online dictionary, an exhibition, documentaries, videos, and audio recordings.

PredicMo aims to explore how preaching is being reimagined and redefined today. This is why the Middle East has been chosen as a key location for research, as it is always linked to international events. The project looks at influences, imitations, competition among preachers, and how they use spaces to spread their message, rather than focusing on a single country.

Last modified:03 April 2024 10.53 a.m.
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