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Frédéric Lenoir

Frédéric Lenoir

3 June 1962. He was born in Madagascar.

1970-1979. He moves to Paris. An unruly student, he is particularly ill-disposed to doing schoolwork and is sent to three different lycées (Victor Duruy, Buffon, Camille Sée). As a teenager he reads Hesse and Dostoyevsky, kindling his interest in existential questions. At 15 he develops a passion for philosophy after reading Plato’s Dialogues, and in astrology from reading books by André Barbault.

1980-1985. The Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung has a profound effect on his intellectual direction, triggering a desire to study mankind’s great myths and religions. After an early fascination with Asian spirituality, in particular Tibetan Buddhism, discovered through the work of Chogyam Trungpa, he develops an interest in the Kabbalah and begins taking classes in the symbolism of Hebrew letters. He has no particular interest in studying Christianity, however. His Catholic upbringing, although very liberal, had focused too much on dogma and morality.

1997. He writes l’Encyclopédie des religions, conceived and compiled with Ysé Tardan-Masquelier, (2500 pages, 2 volumes, 150 collaborators).

1996-2000. He writes for L’Express on a regular basis.

1998. He writes and directs an international study about sects for television with Lolande Cadrin-Rossignol. The documentary series, entitled ‘‘Sectes, mensonges et idéaux’’ (‘‘Sects, Lies and Ideals’’), is broadcast in France on the Cinquième channel and in numerous other countries. He also co-writes a documentary about the Dalai Lama that is broadcast on Canal +, and a series of three 52’ episodes on the Cinquième channel entitled ‘‘Dieu a changé d’adresse’’ (‘’God has changed his address’’).

1998-2005. He writes a number of books − some alone, others with Catherine David and Jean-Philippe de Tonnac − of interviews with such diverse figures as Abbé Pierre, Umberto Eco, Stephen Jay Gould, Jean Vanier, Hubert Reeves and Jean-Claude Carrière.

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