Jean-Marie Paupert (1927 – 2010) [Biography]

Jean-Marie Paupert

[A translation of the French Wikipedia page for Jean-Marie Paupert.]

Jean-Marie Paupert was a French writer born in Châlons-sur-Marne on October 19, 1927 and died June 24, 2010.


Jean-Marie Paupert was born in Châlons-sur-Marne in a large family. His Father, Henri, was a railway worker in Chalons, Jean-Marie Paupert felt a call to religious vocation. He pursued theological studies in Rome, at the Angelicum. 

He quit the Dominicans and pursued his studies at the Sorbonne. He married Catherine Dimier and had five children. 

After two years in teaching, he began, in 1955, a double career: 

  • The first in publishing: he was general secretary of the religious collections at Fayard (then the Librairie Arthème-Fayard) and directed the ce que je sais – ce que je crois collection. He was then close to the academic Daniel-Rops;
  • The other in the oil industry. He was, in particular, the director of advertising at Total. 

Beginning in 1961, he wrote several novels and essays. In 1990, he was also a columnist for the review La Nef.

The Académie française awarded him the Henri-Dumarest prize in 1962 for the body of his work. 

A Catholic, he was above all [a] progressiste and distinctly left-wing, close to the priest Marie-Dominique Chenu. Enthused by Vatican II, he published, for example, a work called Vieillards de chrétienté et chrétiens de l’an 2000 where he attacked with virulence the conservatisms of the Church. At the end of the 70s, he swung towards traditionalism and expressed much criticism with his previous positions; as he explained in his 1979 work Péril en la demeure.

In 1999, in opposition to the war in Serbia, he signed the petition “Les Européens veulent la paix”, started by the Non à la guerre collective.


  • Quelle est donc cette bonne nouvelle ? (essai sur l’Évangile, 1961), [English translation: What Is Gospel, 1962],
  • Pour une politique évangélique (1965), [English translation: The politics of the Gospel, 1969],
  • Peut-on être chrétien aujourd’hui ? (1966),
  • Vieillards de chrétienté et chrétiens de l’an 2000 (1967)
  • Taizé et l’Eglise de demain (1967)
  • Contrôle des naissances et théologie, le dossier de Rome (1967),
  • De Gaulle est-il chrétien ? (1969),
  • Thomas (1970),
  • Mère Angoisse (1973),
  • Péril en la demeure (1979),
  • les Mères patries (1982),
  • France, tu veux crever ? (1986),
  • les Chrétiens de la déchirure (1989),
  • Quelle religion pour l’Europe ? (en coll., 1990),
  • Lettre ouverte en recours à sa Sainteté le pape Jean-Paul II (1994),
  • Eros et Thanatos (1995),
  • Libres humeurs (1999),
  • PPC ou la Passion (2000),
  • Credo ou : ce que je crois (2002).