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Institut Européen en Sciences des Religions

Institut Européen en Sciences des Religions

The Institut européen en sciences des religions (IESR) was established in 2002 as an institute within the École Pratique des Hautes Études (EPHE), a leading institution of higher education and research. Its core mission are :

  • to provide key support in teaching about religions in schools : IESR organizes initial and ongoing training programs for National education staff, for administration staff, or the private sector;
  • to conduct targeted research on current and historical issues involving laïcité/secularity and religious questions;
  • to be a European observatory on secularity and religion: IESR has put in place a European network to study and compare developments in legislation and public practices involving religion within Europe, with an emphasis on teaching and education. Through this network, IESR participated in the multilateral research programs on Religion and Education in Europe.

IESR also directs a post-graduate course of studies at the EPHE titled “Religions and secularity in professional and community life”, which examines the topic from the socio-educational, political, legal, medico-social and cultural perspectives. This vocational course is open to all professionals requiring initial or ongoing training in dealing with religious issues.

Profile picture of Isabelle Saint-MartinIsabelle Saint-Martin
Coordinator EPHE, IESR

Full Professor, École Pratique des Hautes Études (department of Religious sciences), Director of the IESR, member of the research centre HISTARA (EA 7347
As a historian her current research focuses on the relationship between Christianity and the visual arts in contemporary times. She has also been involved since the Debray report (2002) in the provision of teaching about religious issues and on the place of religions within the framework of French secularism.

Jamal Ahbab

Jamal Ahbab is a Research and Training Officer at the IESR.
He has been teaching in high school and at university. He was also trainer for the preparation of the competitive exam for becoming a secondary school teacher of history and geography. He is especially interested in the didactics of history and geography, and in the history and the geography of the Muslim worlds in the late Middle Ages.

Profile picture of Stéphanie LaithierStéphanie Laithier

She is a Research and Training Officer at the IESR.
She is also a graduate in German Studies and a graduate of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Her areas of interest are the history and sociology of Judaism, the history of Zionism and Israel, the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Profile picture of Renaud RochetteRenaud Rochette

Renaud Rochette is a Research and Training Officer at the IESR.
He is an agrégé history-geography teacher and has taught in high school, preparatory classes for the Grandes Écoles and university. In 2009, he defended a PhD in history devoted to imperial power in Byzantium during the Palaeologist era. His areas of interest are the Byzantine Empire, Medieval Christendom and Orthodox Christianity.

Profile picture of Louis HourmantLouis Hourmant

Louis Hourmant is administrative and financial manager at the IESR.
In 2009, he defended a PhD in sociology devoted to the French branch of a Japanese Buddhist movement.