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Prof. Dr. Fabrice Blée

Professor of Theology

Fabrice Blée came to Canada from France (Épernay, Champagne) in 1989. After studying Protestant Theology and Ethnology in Strasbourg (1987-1989), he obtained a Master's Degree (MA) and a Doctorate in Theology (PhD) from the University of Montreal. He began studying theology at 18, motivated by his quest for wholeness as a layman and to share its fruits in a balanced relationship between knowledge and experience. Early on, his research led him to intrareligious dialogue with Tibetan Buddhism and later Zen Buddhism. He followed the teachings of Lama Sherab Gyaltsen Amipa (Sakyapa) at the European Institute of Tibetan Buddhism (Sakya Tsechen Ling), near Strasbourg, from 1987 to 1989, then those of Geshe Kenrab Gajam (Gelugpa) at the Temple of Tibetan Buddhism in Montreal from 1989 to 1993. This dialogical experience led him to write a Master's thesis on death in Bokar Rinpoche's teaching and the theology of Karl Rahner, for which he received an award, le prix du centenaire (1992). He then concentrated his doctoral research (1993-1999) on the experience of monastic interreligious dialogue, which gave rise to several publications, including Le Désert de l’altérité (2004), translated into Italian (Il deserto dell'alterità, 2006) and into English (The Third Desert, 2011). This work is the first in a nine-volume series on intrareligious dialogue he directed from 2004 to 2009 (Mediaspaul Publications). He continued working on spirituality in dialogue during two post-docs: at Vidyajyoti Theological College in Delhi (2001), then at the Woodstock Theological Center at Georgetown University in Washington, DC (2003). Thus, he deepened his understanding of the Christian spiritual path, especially in light of his time at the Ryutaku-ji Zen Rinzai Monastery (Mishima, Shizuoka, Japan), under the direction of Kyudo Nakagawa Roshi (2000-2002) and his Vipassana retreats in India (2001). A few years later, during his time in India, he discovered Kashmir Shivaism (B. Bäumer, L. Silburn) and his similarities with the work of Madame Guyon, a Christian mystic of the seventeenth century: Pure love according to Madame Guyon : Origin and Consequences of a Misunderstanding (Novalis, 2010). His expertise has earned him invitations to teach at various institutions: University of Montreal, Concordia University, University of Sherbrooke, Institut de pastorale des Dominicains de Montréal (Canada), University of Salzburg and Bildungshaus St. Virgil (Austria), and Facoltà di Teologia, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo (Rome, Italy).

​Fabrice Blée is a professor at Saint Paul University (Ottawa) since 2002 and became an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theology in 2010. He teaches Christian Spirituality and the Theology of Interreligious Dialogue, and runs the Graduate Diploma Program in Contemplative Theology and Spiritual Mentorship he created and inaugurated in 2015, with a view to facilitate access for his students, to the long and rich Christian contemplative tradition, in dialogue with Science and other spiritualities.

He is internationally renowned for his numerous publications on a Christian spirituality between hospitality and contemplation, some of which have been translated in English, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish and German. Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (Handbook of Christian Monasticism, Oxford University Press) will be published in 2019. He applies the spirit of monastic dialogue in several contexts: political, ecclesial, ascetic or ecological: Shaping a New Ecological Consciousness (New York, Lantern Books, 2010). He is keen to articulate the relevance of theology as an academic discipline in a secular society characterized by a deficit of transcendence, hence his interest for the spirituality of the desert at the origin of the contemplative tradition and for Henri Le Saux, OSB, a monk who rediscovers the richness of this desert spirituality in India and about whom Fabrice Blée directed his first film, Dawn of Abyss (2016). This is opening new theological perspectives; it is an opportunity to explore how the artistic creative process can inspire theologians to reclaim the experiential and spiritual dimension in their understanding of the Sacred: Filmmaking and Theology: Towards a Didactic and Mystagogical Perspective(Cambridge Scholars Publishing, close 2019). Finally, in addition to his academic and artistic work, Fabrice Blée has been facilitating silent retreats since 2007 in Champboisé, a Eudist hermitage (Guardian Angel, Gatineau, Quebec).

Degrees:
​PhD Theology (University of Montreal, 1999)
MA Theology (University of Montreal, 1992)
Licence equivalence (Faculté de théologie protestante, Strasbourg, 1990)
DEUG (Faculté de théologie protestante, Strasbourg, 1989)
DEU (80%) (Faculté d’Ethnologie, Strasbourg, 1989)

Academic Work:
Present-2002: Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa
Present-2010: Associate Professor
2010-2005: Assistant Professor
2005-2004: Full time Lecturer
2004-2002: Part time Lecturer
Fall 2004: Invited lecturer at the University of Salzburg and Bildungshaus St. Virgil (Austria)
2003: Post-doctoral research, Woodstock Theological Center, Georgetown University, Washington, DC, USA.
2001: Post-doctoral research, Vidyajyoti Theological Center, Delhi, India
2002-1995: Lecturer or invited lecturer at the University of Montreal, Concordia University, University of Sherbrooke, Institut de pastorale des Dominicains de Montréal (Canada), University of Salzburg and Bildungshaus St. Virgil (Austria), and Facoltà di Teologia, Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo (Rome, Italy).

Administration:
Senator, Saint Paul University
Senator, University of Ottawa
Director, Graduate Diploma in Contemplative Theology and Spiritual Mentorship
Member, University of Ottawa Senate committee for the evaluation of undergraduate degrees
Member, Graduate Studies, Saint Paul University
President, Office of Research Committee
Editorial Committee, Dilatato Corde journal
Executive Committee (adviser), Canadian Society of Theology

+1 613 407 04 74