Les Deux Rives’ is a network that promotes Christian-Muslim relations by engaging in interreligious dialogue with Islam.

Les Deux Rives is a Jesuit work with a clear relationship with the Society of Jesus. Its mission arises from a commitment to a faith that does justice through interreligious dialogue and a creative engagement with culture (GC35 Decree 6).

Les Deux Rives offers a Catholic perspective of Islam. Their work is interdisciplinary, exploring the theology of both faiths as well as sociological and “politological” approaches. While Jesuits around the world have different ways of viewing and dealing with interreligious relations, mainly for historical and cultural reasons, there is a shared way of approaching the topic. This approach can be found at the Mediterranean countries where all the Jesuits, who belong to Les Deux Rives, are present.

The team of Les Deux Rives also organises joint events that promote mutual understanding among Muslims and Christians.

Le Groupe des Deux Rives (Two Shores’ Group) held its annual meeting between the 26th and 30th December 2017 in the Franciscan Convent of Saint Mary Draperis, Istanbul (Turkey). In the words of Pep Buades, it was a “time of common discernment on the future of the Jesuit mission in Turkey”. It was also an opportunity to meet the Apostolic Vicar of Istanbul, Mgr. Rubén Tierrablanca OFM, and gain an insider’s insight into the situation of the Catholic Church in Turkey. The visit to the Istanbul Foundation for Science and Culture, linked to the disciples of Said Nursi, allowed for some sharing about the way we understand dialogue and the interplay between faith and reason. Being in Istanbul, also meant we had to pay a visit to some of the city’s most symbolic religious places: the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Muslim shrine of Eyüp. A huge part of the meeting was devoted to personal sharing about our lives and missions. As friends in the Lord, we did not only speak about topics of common interest, but about our current discernments, our joys and our sorrows. Among other things, we touched upon the fragility of our presence in Maghreb and Turkey and how this nurtures a deeper sense of providence, as well as the desire for new companions to share in our mission. Some of us, mentioned the difficulties faced when engaging simultaneously in a dialogue with Muslims and catechumenal work. We also discussed our commitment to Jesuits Among Muslims (JAM), the PLURIEL network of Catholic Universities in Europe and Lebanon and the HEST cluster on the dialogue between Christians and Muslims, and organizational issues related to some of our common activities, as Inner discovery of Algeria, a programme for college students and young professionals. The group’s next meeting will be hosted by Damien de Préville and will take place in Constantine between the 28th and 29th July. Damien will also have the pleasure of hosting this year’s annual meeting between the 26th and 30th December. The members who attended the meeting were: Jean-Marc Balhan (Ankara, Turkey), Alexis Doucet (Ankara, Turkey), Christophe Ravanel (Algiers-Algeria), Damien de Préville (Constantine-Algeria), Jaume Flaquer (Barcelona-Spain), Josep Buades (Sevilla-Spain), Laurent Basanèse (Rome-Italy) and a French scholastic currently studying Theology, Olivier Dewavrin (Paris-France). Some others, unfortunately, couldn’t participate this time: Jesús León (Constantine-Algeria), Sylvain Cariou-Charton (Vanves-France), Jack Germanos (Nador-Morocco), Ricardo Jiménez (Algiers-Algeria) and Álvaro Dorantes (Alexandria-Egypt).  
Le Groupe des Deux Rives’ meeting 2016. Le Groupe des Deux Rives (Two Shores’ Group) held its annual meeting on 27th-30st December 2016 in Granada (Spain). Surrounded by the finest examples of Moorish architecture, the group had to visit   the Alhambra and other buildings of the Islamic historical legacy in Andalucia. The history and the dream of Al-Andalus, as well as Christian-Muslim relations weigh a lot, for there has been as much violence as dialogue and living together. The visit to a local Islamic community, whose president chairs the Union of Islamic Communities in Andalucía, allowed us to better understand the spiritual life of Muslims, issues related to Spanish identity of both Islamic communities and several kinds of worshippers (immigrants, their children and Spanish-born Muslims), and the institutional challenges they face. The visit to the Jesuit Faculty of Theology, whose theological reflection is intended to be done in dialogue with Islamic thought, lead us to a common priority for the Society of Jesus in Europe: the need to build solid alliances among Jesuit institutions. As usual, a big part of the meeting consisted of sharing about our lives and missions. As friends in the Lord, we didn’t just speak about topics of common interest, but on our current discernments, our joys and our sorrows. Conversations among the members of the group focused on different topics, such as the difficulties to bring together the dialogue with Muslims and catechumenal work. There was also a profound reflection on conditions for dialogue: dialogue and truth, truth framed by tradition, etc. The fragility of our presence in Maghreb and Turkey underscores the need to constantly place ourselves in the hands of Providence, whilst searching for new companions ready to share in this mission. The group also organises some common activities throughout the year, as the “Inner discovery of Algeria”, a programme aimed at college students and young professionals in Algiers, from 6th to 27th August (convenor: Christophe Ravanel). The next meeting of the Group is foreseen in Turkey (Istanbul) on 26th-30th December 2017 (convenor: Jean-Marc Balhan). The members attending the meeting were: Jean-Marc Balan (Ankara, Turkey), Christophe Ravanel (Algiers-Algeria), Damien de Préville (Constantine-Algeria), Jaume Flaquer (Barcelona-Spain), Jesús León (Constantine-Algeria), Josep Buades (Sevilla-Spain) and Gabriel Pigache (Lyon-France). Two other Jesuits were invited: Maged-William Readany from Egypt, at present studying at the Gregorian University, and Ángel Benítez-Donoso from Madrid, who has been working for two years at JRS-Lebanon as part of his regency. Unfortunately, some others couldn’t participate this time: Sylvain Cariou-Charton (Vanves-France), Jack Germanos (Beirut-Lebanon), Ricardo Jiménez (Algiers-Algeria) and Álvaro Dorantes (Beirut-Lebanon). Juan Carlos Pallardel, who is working in Pakistan, has sent a long message to the group, sharing his experience and asking for help to the Church in Pakistan with retreats and lectures in summer 2017.