Michel Benoît (a nom de plume) is a religious scolar and novelist. After obtaining a PhD in Pharmacology, he entered the Benedictine order as an unordained monk at the abbey of Saint Benoît sur Loire (from which he took his pen name), remaining a monk for twenty-two years. Because of his ideological non-conformity, he eventually left the Catholic Church and decided to devote himself to research and writing. His first book, Prisoner of God, an autobiographical account of his lfe in the monastery, became an international bestseller when it was published in 1992. This was followed by two religious essays, a travel book based on a trip to India, and then the thriller The Thirteenth Apostle, which although fiction, is claimed to be derived from his lifetime's research on the life of Jesus.