Julien Ries

Julien Ries (Arlon, 1920 – Tournai 2013), a priest of the diocese of Namur, obtained his doctorate in Theology and his diploma in Philology and Oriental History at the Université Catholique of Louvain-la-Neuve, where he began teaching in 1960. There, from 1968 to 1990, he held the chair in History of Religions and founded the Centre d’Histoire des Religions. Author, publisher and co-publisher of over forty books and collections, he also published four hundred articles concerning various fields of the history of religions and oriental studies: manichaeism, gnosticism, science of religion, dialogue between religions and culture. On the occasion of the inauguration ceremony for the academic year 2010-2011, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Milan seat) conferred on Julien Ries the honoris causa degree in the faculty of Education Science; on that occasion Ries gave an inaugural lecture on the subject Death, survival, immortality. Thought and religious traditions.

Member of the editorial committee of the Dictionnaire des Religions, he directed the Trattato di Antropologia del Sacro [Treatise of Anthropology of the Sacred]. Publication is at present in progress of his Opera Omnia, whose plan envisages eleven volumes in eighteen tomes. Julien Ries was among the cardinals appointed by the Holy Father Benedict XVI at the celebration of Epiphany 2012. He passed away at Tournai (Belgium) on 23 February 2013.


The “Julien Ries” archive for symbolic anthropology

The “Julien Ries” archive for symbolic anthropology, directed by prof. Silvano Petrosino, was set up in 2009 within the Centre for Social Doctrine of the Church at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The Archive came into being thanks to Cardinal Julien Ries’s donation to this University of his library, all his writings and the correspondence undertaken during his long activity with historians of the religions of the whole word (among others, Eliade, De Lubac, Dumézil, Girard, Grelot). The aim of the Archive – as well as ensuring the work of conservation of the documents and favouring their consultation by the scientific community – is to guarantee the continuation of the numerous prospects of study and investigation that precisely the tenacious, perceptive work of Julien Ries was able to open.



Management: prof. Silvano Petrosino


Scientific-organisational office: dott.ssa Glenda Franchin



Opening hours

Monday - Tuesday 14.30 - 17.30

Wednesday - Thursday - Friday 9.30 - 12.30

For information and appointments:

Tel.: 02.7234.3206 -



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