Jean Borella

Jean Borella (born in Nancy, France, 1930) is a Christian philosopher and theologian. Borella's works are deeply inspired by Ancient and Christian Neoplatonism, but also by the Traditionalist School of René Guénon and Frithjof Schuon.


Borella's father, who was Italian, made a career in military aviation before his death in 1937 in an air crash, when Jean was seven years old. Borella's mother was French from Lorraine. Borella had a Catholic education and traditional public school secondary studies which reinforced in him the idea that he would be a defender of the faith. By age 14, Borella understood Cartesian proof of the existence of God. In 1950, he stayed for a short while in a Benedictine monastery, but left, disappointed.

Borella attended university in Nancy, France.[1] Two of Borella's philosophy professors had significant influence on him, Veorges Vallin and Guy Bugault. Vallin, French Orientalist and philosopher, primarily taught the principles of Vedanta. Bugault taught the philosophy of Khâgne. While both Vallin and Bugault were readers of Guénon, they did not speak of Guénon in class or in private conversations with Borella. Borella graduated in 1953 with a degree in philosophy, and, in the same year, became familiar with Guénon, and then with Schuon, of whom Borella stated:

"If there were in my life a man whom I actually regarded as a Master, it is well him."

In 1954, Borella married a Polish woman.

By 1957, Borella was a professor of philosophy in Gérardmer. In 1962, he became professor in Nancy, France, where he taught philosophy and French until 1977. In 1982, he was at the University of Paris X: Nanterre.

Borella has three daughters, the youngest of which is a Benedictine nun, and four grandchildren.


(in French)

  • Bérard, Bruno, and Jean Borella. Jean Borella, la révolution métaphysique: après Galilée, Kant, Marx, Freud, Derrida. Religions et spiritualité. Paris: Harmattan, 2006. ISBN 2-296-00727-9
  • Esotérisme guénonien et mystère chrétien, L’Age d’Homme, Lausanne, 1997.
  • Histoire et théorie du symbole, L’Age d’Homme,Lausanne, 2004 (édition revue et corrigée du "Mystère du signe", Maisonneuve et Larose, 1989).
  • La charité profanée, Editions Dominique Martin Morin.
  • La crise du symbolisme religieux, L’Age d’Homme, Lausanne, 1990.
  • Le poème de la Création. Traduction de la Genèse 1-3, Ad Solem, 2002.
  • Le sens du surnaturel, Ad Solem, Genève 1996.
  • Lumières de la théologie mystique, L'Age d'Homme, Lausanne, 2002.
  • Penser l’analogie, Ad Solem, Genève 2000.
  • Symbolisme et réalité, Ad Solem, 1997.

(in English)

  • The sense of the supernatural[2]
  • Guenonian esoterism & Christian mystery[3]
  • The Secret of the Christian Way: A Contemplative Ascent Through the Writings of Jean Borella , Borella, Jean, and G. John Champoux.. SUNY series in Western esoteric traditions. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2001. ISBN 0-7914-4843-6[4]
  • The Torn Veil[5]

Further readingEdit

  • Renaud Fabbri, The Problematic of the Unity of Religions[6] Vincit Omnia Veritas. III,1
  • Jean Hani : Le Monde à l'envers, Essais critiques sur la civilisation moderne, Lausanne, l'Âge d'homme, « Delphica », 2001, ISBN 9782825114414
  • Meramo, Basilio, and Bernard Tissier de Mallerais. Les hérésies de la gnose du professeur Jean Borella. Sion: Editions Les Amis de saint François de Sales, 1996. ISBN 3-905519-13-5


External linksEdit

(in French)