Jean Biès

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Jean Biès (1933 – 11 January 2014)[1] was a French philosopher and author. He is the recipient of the High Prize of the Society of French Poets (1970), Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor (1997), and a prolific modern proponent of the Traditionalist School. His works deal with the union of Eastern and Western philosophy.


Born in Bordeaux, France in 1933, much of his childhood and adolescence was spent in Algiers. Jean Biès studied Classics at the University of Algiers before continuing his studies at the Sorbonne. His doctoral dissertation, which studied the relationship between French literature and Hindu thought (Littérature française et la Pensée Hindoue), was awarded the Prix d’Asie by the Académie des Sciences d’Outre-mer.[2]

Coming across the writings of René Guénon in 1951, Biès discovered the existence of initiatory teachings. This had a large influence on his beliefs and writings and he went on to meet several prominent members of the Traditionalist School including Frithjof Schuon.[3]

He was awarded the Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor in 1997.[4]


Biès has written extensively on the subject of traditional wisdom and his works take many forms including essays, poetry, travel accounts, personal testimonies, and scholarly articles. He retired in 1993 so he could focus his time entirely on his writing. In 2004 World Wisdom published the first English-language collection of his writings, entitled Returning to the Essential: The Selected Writings of Jean Bies.[2]

The Catholic philosopher Jean Borella referred to Biès as “one of the great and most authentic poets of our time.”[5]

See also[edit]





  1. ^
  2. ^ a b Jean Biès: Life and Work
  3. ^ Returning to the Essential, (World Wisdom, 2004), p. 265
  4. ^ "Legion d'honneur; 1 ere partie", Le Monde, 3 January 1997
  5. ^ Returning to the Essential, (World Wisdom, 2004), p. xiii

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