Fabrice Blée, a native of France (Épernay, Champagne), has been living in Canada since 1989. After studying Protestant theology and ethnology in Strasbourg (1987-1989), he obtained a master's degree (MA) and a doctorate in theology (PhD) at the University of Montreal. He begins his studies of theology at 18; his motivation is to nourish as a layman his quest for wholeness and to share the fruits of it in a balanced relationship between knowledge and experience. His research led him very early in an intrareligious dialogue with Tibetan Buddhism and later Zen Buddhism. He follows 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 devotes his doctoral research (1993-1999) to the experience of monastic interreligious dialogue that will give rise to several publications, including Le Désert de l’altérité (2004), translated into Italian (Il deserto dell'alterità, 2006) and in English (The Third Desert, 2011). His book is the first in a nine-volume Series on intrareligious dialogue he runs from 2004 to 2009 (Mediaspaul Publications). He continues his work on a 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 deepens his understanding of the Christian spiritual path, especially in the light of his stays 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 stays in India, he discovered Kashmir Shivaism (B. Bäumer, L. Silburn) and his resonances in 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 the invitation 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 has been teaching at Saint Paul University (Ottawa) since 2002 and became an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Theology in 2010. He teaches Christian Spirituality and Theology of Interreligious Dialogue, and runs the Graduate Diploma in Contemplative theology and spiritual mentorship he creates and inaugurates in 2015. His interest here is to facilitate access to his students to the long and rich Christian contemplative tradition, and this, in dialogue with science and other spiritualities.
He is internationally renowned for his numerous publications, translated for some in English, Italian, Spanich, Portuguese, Spanish, Polish and German, on a Christian spirituality between hospitality and contemplation; the latest will be published in 2019: Monastic Interreligious Dialogue (Handbook of Christian Monasticism, Oxford University Press). 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 makes it anxious to articulate the relevance of theology as an academic discipline in a secular society characterized by a deficit of transcendence. Hence his interest also for the spirituality of the desert at the origin of the contemplative tradition and for the monk Henri Le Saux, OSB who rediscovers the richness of this desert spirituality in India and on whom Fabrice Blée produces and directed his first film, Dawn of Abyss (2016). This work opens up new perspectives in his way of doing theology; it is an opportunity to explore how the artistic creation process can inspire the theologian to reclaim the experiential and spiritual dimension in his 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 offers to the community to pray in silence during retreats he animates since 2007 in Champboisé, a Eudist hermitage (Guardian Angel, Gatineau, Quebec).
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)
Present-2002: Faculty of Theology, Saint Paul University, Ottawa
Fall 2004: Invited lecturer in 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 in University of Montreal, 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).
Senator, Saint Paul University
Senator, University of Ottawa
Director, Graduate Diploma in Contemplative Theology and Spiritual Mentorship
Member, Ottawa University 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