Father Jean Boboc was one of the most eminent figures in the dialogue between science and religion in France.
A Doctor in Medicine from the Faculty of Medicine of Paris, and a specialist in clinical pharmacology and toxicology, he also had an MBA (Master of Business Administration). He divided his professional life between medicine practice and applied research. He was the president of pharmaceutical companies in Europe, the United States, and Canada, which made him very familiar with the ethical issues of medical research.
Influenced by Mircea Eliade’s work, he attended classes at the Institute of Science and Theology of Religions of the Catholic Institute in Paris (1968-1969), and decided to give up everything to become a priest.
When he returned from the United States, he was ordained a priest in 2009 by his Eminence Metropolitan Joseph in the historic Romanian Church of Paris, which on that very day became the metropolitan cathedral of Western and Southern Europe.
He was a stavrophore priest, a treasurer, and the Dean of the Dumitru Stǎniloae Orthodox Center for Studies and Research in Paris; as well as Professor of Anthropology and Bioethics. He represented the Romanian Patriarchate at the CEC (Conference of European Churches) for bioethical questions.
In the Romanian diaspora, he was the founding president of the AFDOR (Association for French people of Romanian descent) and of the BRP (Romanian Library of Paris). He gave many conferences on both sides of the Atlantic on the situation of Bessarabia and Bukovina, annexed by the USSR, and on the Macedo-Romanian question. Father Jean Boboc wrote many articles and participated in collective works on this topic. He translated political writings by Mihai Eminescu and theological works by Father Dumitru Stăniloae, such as The Ascetic and Mystical Theology of the Orthodox Church (2011). As a theologian and a bioethicist, he was interested in the spiritual and eschatological dimensions of Orthodox anthropology and in their impact on life sciences.
Father Jean Boboc obtained Ph. D. in Orthodox theology in 2013 and published La grande métamorphose – Essai de théo-anthropologie orthodoxe [The Great Metamorphosis – Essay on Orthodox Theo-Anthropology] in 2014. It is a large-scale and far-reaching work. The author proposes a new anthropology , an onto-theo-anthropology, in agreement with both Orthodox theo-anthropology and the knowledge acquired through contemporary science (cosmology, embryology, and genetics).
His daring theological enterprise was to connect the apophatic approach with the transdisciplinary approach, by demonstrating the theological relevance of Stéphane Lupasco’s included third term logic and of the concept of levels of reality. The keystone of his anthropology is the permanent presence of the hidden third, which establishes the relationship between reason and mystery. The dualistic catastrophe, which threatens the very existence of the human species, can be avoided by the adoption of the tripartite, pneumatic, and eschatological anthropology. This book opens vast avenues of research.
In his book written after the International Conference of Transdisciplinary Studies at the CIRET (International Center for Transdisciplinary Research, Paris), Le tiers caché dans les différents domaines de la connaissance, 2015 [The hidden third in the different fields of knowledge]. Father Jean Boboc studied the relevance of the hidden third for Christian anthropology.
In another substantial, well-argued, and fascinating book, he also demonstrated that transhumanism endangers religions by eliminating all transcendence: Le transhumanisme décrypté – Métamorphose du bateau de Thésée, 2017 [Deciphering Transhumanism. Metamorphosis of the Ship of Theseus]. (See also http://ciret-transdisciplinarity.org/ARTICLES/Jean_Boboc.pdf).
Jean Boboc was an advisor for “Science and Orthodoxy around the World” (SOW). He gave a bright and powerful lecture on this topic that fascinated him, the danger of transhumanism, at the symposium on “Orthodox Christianity and the Reassessment of Scientific Knowledge” , which took place in Athens, In February 9-10, 2018.
A few months before his death, he gave an important lecture at the symposium “Orthodox Theology and Science” which took place on October 8, 2018 at the Romanian Orthodox Cathedral in Paris. He was hospitalized shortly thereafter, and died after a long and courageous fight against illness on April 4, 2019.
He has a strong personality, a blend of rigor, humor and warmth. Fr. Jean Boboc will remain alive forever in our hearts.