On the twentieth anniversary of the departure of the philosopher, historical and theological researcher Chaldean priest who died in October 2000 following a traffic accident in Jordan, we met one of his colleagues, writer and researcher Mr. Benjamin Haddad, who worked with him 30 years, he recall some of his qualities, ideas, approaches and writings. The philosopher Habbi was an intellectual and a member of many scientific and cultural academies.
Scholar Benjamin Haddad, said I got to know him in 1972 and we have worked together culturally for 30 years. He added that the doctor was a philosopher focusing on theology and history, and his reading of them stemmed from a critical scientific view, as he was not a classicist. He considered that a large percentage of history is more literature and stories, than historical facts.
His thought was turning to criticism in a modernist way. At that time, some people did not like him because they believed in tradition.
Benjamin said that Father Habbi wrote about history and theology in Arabic language and wrote about the history of the Church of the East in the same critical manner, so he digs scientifically into the events of ecclesiastical history.
Haddad added that Father Yusef Habbi has other books in literature, and he wrote about personalities such as Hunayn Bar Ishaq, as well as on the councils of the Church of the East, and he investigated the history of Elijah Bar Shinaya and other books.
Benjamin said that Fr. Habbi was an open-minded person with a contemporary thought, and he was famous, social and beloved, but he adopted an open mind to the world more than the East.
Mr. Haddad concluded his speech by saying that Habbi died when he was young, and if he had stayed alive, we would have found many other written works of him.
Haddad said today we need specialists in our orientalism, literature, history and theology. We need to study our distinction and originality.