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Léo Bernard

Postdoctoral fellow in history, Ifris

Contact: leobernard.histoire(at)


As a historian, I look at the intersection of science, medicine, religion and esoteric currents. My doctoral thesis, defended in February 2021 and prepared at the EPHE, focused on the relationships between esoteric currents and medical holism in the French context of the interwar period. I was recently awarded an IFRIS postdoctoral fellowship, based on a project entitled "Living and Healing Naturally: the Perceptions and Uses of Science in the Naturist Milieu during the Second Half of the 20th Century." In a few words, it is a matter of studying the "naturist" milieu of the fifties, and its evolutions until the end of the century, by paying a particular attention to the relationships with "science" and "spirituality". The health and medical practices, but also the methods of agriculture and education developed in this milieu, constitute research subjects likely to expand the cultural history of this period. I am also one of the co-founders and current president of the Association francophone pour l'étude universitaire des courants ésotériques (FRÉSO), and as such I am interested in all works concerning the history of these currents.

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