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Jean-Francois Mayer (born 25 April 1957, Freiburg, 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, 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, Éditoins du Cerf, 1990.
  • Les fondamentalismes, Genève, Georg, 2001.
  • La naissance des nouvelles religions, with Reender Kranenborg, Georg Editeur, Geneva, 2004, isbn 2825708771[4]
  • Internet et religion, Gollion, Infolio, 2008


fr:Jean-François Mayer

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