Jean-François Mayer

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Jean-Francois Mayer (born 25 April 1957 in Fribourg, Switzerland) is a religious historian, translator in Switzerland, and Director of the Institute Religioscope.

He has a doctorate degree in History at the Jean Moulin University Lyon 3 (1984).

From 1991 to 1998, he worked as an analyst on international affairs and policy for the Swiss federal government. In 1999, he founded a firm of strategic researches named JFM Recherches et Analyses, and taught at the University of Freiburg from 1999 to 2007.[1]

In 2007, Mayer founded the Institute Religioscope and became the director. He contributed in the writing of several magazines, including Politica Hermetica, Religioscope and Religion Watch.

His writing focuses on contemporary religious movements and cults, including Islam, the Unification Church, the Church of Scientology, the Order of the Solar Temple and the Pilgrims of Arès. He also published works about aliens[2] and links between religion and the Internet.


This is a partial list of Mayer's works:[3]

  • La Nouvelle Église de Lausanne et le mouvement swedenborgien en Suisse romande des origines à 1948, Zürich, Swedenborg Verlag, 1984.
  • Sectes nouvelles. Un regard neuf ; preface by Émile Poulat, Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 1985.
  • Les sectes. Non-conformismes chrétiens et nouvelles religions, 2nd edition, Paris, Éditions du Cerf/Saint Laurent (Québec), Fides, 1988.
  • L'Évêque Bugnion ou les Voyages extraordinaires d'un aventurier ecclésiastique vaudois, Lausanne, Éditions 24 heures, 1989.
  • Les mythes du Temple solaire, Genève. Georg, 1996.
  • Confessions d'un chasseur de sectes, Paris, Éditions du Cerf, 1990.
  • Les fondamentalismes, Genève, Georg, 2001.
  • La naissance des nouvelles religions, with Reender Kranenborg, Georg Editeur, Geneva, 2004, ISBN 2-8257-0877-1[4]
  • Internet et religion, Gollion, Infolio, 2008


  1. ^ "Jean-François Mayer" (in French). Presses Universitaires de France. Archived from the original on 7 September 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  2. ^ Miserez, Marc-André (30 December 2009). "Dieu a-t-il aussi créé E.T.?" (in French). Swiss Info. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  3. ^ "Jean-Francois Mayer, Liste des publications" (in French). Mayer. Retrieved 21 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Jean-François Mayer et Reender Kranenborg (sous la direction de), La naissance des nouvelles religions" (in French). CESNUR. Retrieved 21 August 2010.