Childhood and intellectual training
June 3, 1962 • Birth in Antananarivo (Madagascar).
1964 • His parents return to France. They decide to raise their four children in the countryside, in Dourdan in Essonne.
1970-1979 • Moves to Paris. A turbulent student and unwilling to study at school, Frédéric changed schools three times. As a teenager, he discovered authors like Hesse or Dostoyevsky who awakened him to existential questions. He begins to be passionate about philosophy by reading Plato's Banquet.
1980-1985 • The Swiss psychologist Carl Gustav Jung marks his intellectual itinerary in depth and stimulates his desire to better understand the great myths and religions of humanity. First interested in astrology and Eastern spiritualities, notably Tibetan Buddhism, he became interested in Kabbalah and took courses in symbolism on Hebrew letters. Although very liberal, her Catholic upbringing has left her with rather bad memories – too much insistence on dogma and morality – and Christianity does not interest her. At 19, he read the Gospels for the first time. It's a real shock. With his childhood friend, Emmanuel Rouvillois, who would later become a monk under the name of Brother Samuel, he began studying philosophy at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He leads a spiritual quest which leads him to stay in India, in Israel, in Christian hermitages and monasteries in France. While pursuing his studies in philosophy, he spent a little over three years in the Community of Saint John founded by Father MD Philippe.
1986-1990 • He begins his professional life as a collection director for Fayard editions and publishes as author several works of interviews or surveys on philosophical and spiritual themes.
1991 • He resigns from his post of editor to devote himself to writing and to his doctoral thesis at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) on Buddhism in the West (which he will obtain with the congratulations of the jury unanimously).
1992 • He becomes an associate researcher at the École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales. Following Edgar Morin, one of his intellectual masters, he approaches the religious fact in a multidisciplinary approach combining philosophy, sociology and history.
Between 2004 and 2013, he edited the magazine Le Monde des religions (bimonthly belonging to the Le Monde ) which offers a secular and cultural approach to religion. Previously, he regularly collaborated with L'Express and Psychologies Magazine . Under his leadership, the magazine quickly went from a paying circulation of 30,000 to 60,000 copies per issue. He resigned from his post in 2013 to devote himself more to writing.
In 1998, he wrote and co-directed for the 5 a 5×52' documentary series devoted to the sectarian phenomenon in the world: Sects, lies and ideals . He will be the author of several other TV documentaries. Between 2019 and 2021, he wrote and co-directed The Paths of the Sacred , a documentary film shot in 12 countries on 5 continents. The 90 min film and the 5×52' series were broadcast on air and on Arte.tv in April 2021 and April 2022. The rebroadcast of the 5 episodes is available until 7/10/22 on Arte. tv .
In 2008, he created the program Les Racines du Ciel on France Culture. He produced and hosted with Leili Anvar this weekly program devoted to spirituality for eight years. He resigned in 2016 to devote himself to the creation of the association SEVE .
In 2009, he co-wrote the play Bonté Divine , directed by Christophe Lidon, with Roland Giraud in the lead role. The play is a triumph in Paris (at the Théâtre de la Gaité Montparnasse), but also in the provinces, and it has been performed uninterruptedly since its creation, in January 2009, until March 2011. It has been adapted in 5 other countries . In 2012, he wrote the play Renaissance (directed by Christophe Luthringer) which was performed in Paris at the Théâtre de la Renaissance.
April 2019 • cinema release of the documentary film “ Le Cercle des Petits Philosophes ”, directed by Cécile Denjean, who followed Frédéric Lenoir during a school year giving philosophy and meditation workshops in two classes in the Paris region.
The Prophecy of the Two Worlds . Saga in 4 volumes. Screenplay by Frédéric Lenoir .
Designer: Alexis Chabert. Publisher: Albin Michel L'Elu , the fabulous destiny of George W. Bush. Screenplay by Frédéric Lenoir .
Designer: Alexis Chabert. Publisher: L'Echo des Savanes. The Oracle della Luna, 5 volumes . Screenplay by Frederic Lenoir. Co-writer: Rodolphe (for volumes 3, 4, 5). Designer: Griffo.
Between 1987 and 2019, Frédéric Lenoir published around fifty books, encyclopedias, interview books, essays and novels, selling more than 10 million copies and translated into around twenty languages. In 2016, the magazine L'Obs establishes with the GFK institute a ranking which reveals that Frédéric Lenoir is the French intellectual who has sold the most books during the previous 5 years.
Ecology and animal welfare
1991 • He publishes The Time of Responsibility , (postfaced by Paul Ricoeur), a book of interviews with a dozen personalities on the resurgence of ethical concerns in our societies confronted with new major challenges, in particular that of ecology.
1992 • Takes part in the founding of the association “Environnement sans frontières”.
2003 • Publication of a book of interviews with his friend Hubert Reeves, Mal de Terre , which raises a cry of alarm in the face of the threats weighing on the planet.
2012 • He publishes La Guérison du monde , in which he denounces the quantitative and mercantile logic of our society and reflects on the paths that favor respect for the earth and people to avoid the catastrophe towards which we are heading.
2013 • With the association 30 millions d'amis , he invests in the animal cause and co-signs with 23 intellectuals a manifesto to modify article 528 of the Civil Code which defines animals as “movable property”. The ensuing petition garners 800,000 signatures. The amendment was finally adopted by the National Assembly on 01/28/2015. He recognizes animals as “living beings endowed with feeling”.
2017 • Publication of Open letter to animals and creation of the association Ensemble pour les Animaux, which aims to reflect on the relationship between humans and animals and to defend, in conjunction with other associations, major causes on the animal condition. The association is organizing a major conference in June 2018 at the National Assembly on the animal welfare of farm animals and is currently working on the project to create an ethical label.
2011 • He becomes the sponsor of the association Le Pari solidaire , founded by Aude Messéan, which creates links of intergenerational solidarity by connecting isolated elderly people with the low-income students they house. Since then, he has become the sponsor or partner of several associations:
- General Fraternity
- Seeds of the future
- The sorceresses of Ôse
- We take action
2016 • Publication of Philosophizing and meditating with children . In parallel, creation with Martine Roussel-Adam of the SEVE Foundation , Knowing How to Be and Living Together (under the aegis of the Fondation de France), whose main mission is to train leaders of philosophy and meditation workshops in schools. In November 2017, SEVE received approval from the Ministry of National Education. Between 2016 and 2022, SEVE has trained more than 5,000 animators in France and more than 1,000 in Canada, Belgium, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Morocco.