Members of the Academy

Lacunza Balda, Justo

Arabist, Africanist, and Islamologist

Justo Lacunza Balda (Pamplona, 1944), is a Graduate of Arab Studies (PISAI, Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Rome 1977), holds a Degree in Arab and Islamic Studies (PISAI, Rome 1978), a Master’s in Philosophy (M. Phil.) in African Studies (SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1987), and a Doctorate (Ph. D.) in African Languages and Cultures, Specialised in Islam and the Swahili Language (SOAS, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, 1989).

Since 2007, he has served as the Emeritus Dean of Rome's Pontifical Institute of Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI), Secretary-General of África Fundación Sur, manager of intercultural and interreligious dialogue at the Society of Missionaries to Africa in Spain, and person in charge of AEJPN’s (Africa Europe Justice and Peace Network) Antenna Madrid.

He has led Seminars on Islam and the African Continent at the Rey Juan Carlos University since 2012, is a guest professor of Islamic Law at the ISDE (Higher Institute of Law and Economy), has taught classes at the CTIF (Department of Education) of the Community of Madrid, as well as at the EMUI (Complutense University) and the University of Alcalá de Henares.

He is a member of the Central European University's Research Group on Minorities. San Pablo: MESIMA (Minorities, State and International Security in the Mediterranean), member of CONFER's Interreligious Dialogue Group, member of the Interreligious Meeting Forum that brings together members of different religious faiths: Catholics, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Jews, and Baha'is.

He is also a member of AEFJN's Antenna of Madrid (Africa Europe Justice and Peace Network), and works with "Health among Cultures" (Ramón y Cajal Hospital) as a Swahili to Spanish interpreter for medical visits by Swahili-speaking patients.

Justo Lacunza continues to study contemporary Islam with a specific focus on the development of Muslim identities, Islamic movements, international Jihad, national revolutions in Arab countries, and national constitutions in Muslim-majority countries in different cultural contexts, including the European context. He works in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue, and studies questions relating to civil liberties and the freedom of religion around the world.

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