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Sélim Abou was born in Beirut (Lebanon) in 1928.
He entered the Jesuit Order in France in 1946, where he pursued his literary, philosophical, and theological studies.
In 1961, he received his PhD in literature, and when the Ecole Supérieure des Lettres was closed, he founded the USJ Faculty of Literature and the Humanities in 1977, remaining its dean until 1992.

He was Rector of USJ from June 1995 until February 2003. He also served as coordinator of the “Cultures, Languages, and Development” network of the Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUPELF) – the Francophone University Association – from June 1993 until February 1999. He is the director of the USJ Publications (Presses de l’USJ) as well as the first holder of the Louis D. Institut de France d’anthropologie interculturelle chair at USJ.

Professor Abou focuses his research on the confluence of civilizations in the world, as well as on the manifestations of acculturation, conflicts over identity, multiculturalism, and citizenship.

A writer, philosopher, and anthropologist, he has published many works, most notably:

Los Mbyas Guaranis. El tiempo del reconocimiento, coedited by USJ Publications, Beirut / Editorial de Arte, Buenos Aires, 2013.

Les Mbyas Guaranis. Le Temps de la Reconnaissance, USJ Publications, Beirut 2012.

De l’identité et du sens. La mondialisation de l’angoisse identitaire et sa signification
plurielle, Perrin / USJ Publications, Paris / Beirut,  2009.

Les libertés. Discours annuels du Recteur de l’Université Saint-Joseph 1996-2003. USJ Publications, Beirut, 2003.

L’identité culturelle (revised and corrected edition), followed by Cultures et droits de l’homme, Perrin / USJ Publications, Paris / Beirut, 2002.

La “République” Jésuite des Guaranis (1609-1768) et son héritage, Perrin-UNESCO, Paris, 1995. – Spanish translation, La “República” jesuítica de los Guaraníes (1609-1768) y su herencia, Manrique Zago Ediciones - UNESCO, Buenos Aires, 1995. English translation, The Jesuit “Republic” of the Guaranis (1609-1768) and its Heritage, A. Crossroad Herder Book, Crossroad Publishing Company, UNESCO, New York, 1997.

Retour au Paraná. Chronique de deux villages guaranis, Hachette, “Pluriel- Intervention”, Paris 1993.

Cultures et droits de l’homme, Paris, Hachette, coll. “Pluriel, Intervention” 1992. German translation, Menschenrechte und Kulturen, Bochum, Verlag Dr. Diejter Winkler, 1995. Italian translation, Diritti e culture dell’uomo, Torino, Società Editrice Internazionale, 1995.

Béchir Gemayel ou l’esprit d’un peuple, Anthropos, Paris 1984.

L’identité culturelle. Relations interethniques et problèmes d’acculturation, Anthropos, Paris 1981, 1986.

Liban déraciné. Immigrés dans l’autre Amérique. Plon, “Terre humaine”, 1978, 1987,   L’Harmattan, Paris, 1998.

Le bilinguisme arabe-français au Liban (essai d’anthropologie culturelle), Paris, PUF, 1962.

Enquêtes sur les langues en usage au Liban, coll. “Recherches de l’Institut des Lettres Orientales” (Research of the Oriental Literature Institute), Beirut, 1961.

 

He also supervised numerous collective works and participated in some of them, most notably:

Le défi Euro-Méditerranéen : pour un partenariat des deux rives, (under the guidance of Sélim Abou), USJ Publications, 2005.

Dialogue des cultures et résolution des conflits : les horizons de la paix, (under the guidance of Sélim Abou and Joseph Maïla), expected to appear in 2004, with USJ Publications.

La Francophonie aux défis de l’économie et du droit aujourd’hui (under the guidance of
Sélim Abou and Pierre Catala), Beirut, USJ Publications, 2002.

Universalisation et différenciation des modèles culturels (under the guidance of Sélim Abou and Katia Haddad), Coll. Actualité scientifique, published by AUPELF/UREF and USJ, 1999, (364 p.).

La diversité linguistique et culturelle et les enjeux du développement (under the guidance of Sélim Abou and Katia Haddad), Coll. Actualité scientifique, published by AUPELF/UREF and USJ, 1997 (413 p.).

Anatomie de la francophonie libanaise (Sélim Abou, Choghig Kasparian, Katia Haddad), published by AUPELF/UREF and USJ, Ed. FMA, 1996 (317 p.).

La population déplacée par la guerre au Liban (Robert Kasparian, André Beaudoin, Sélim Abou), Paris, L’Harmattan, 1995 (196 p.).

Une francophonie différentielle (under the guidance of Sélim Abou and Katia Haddad), Paris, L’Harmattan, 1994 (560 p.).

 

His speeches delivered on St. Joseph Day, Patron Saint of USJ, while he was Rector can also be added to this list..