Olivier Clément was born in 1921 at Aniane in southern France. He studied the history of the great religions under Alphonse Dupront, a member of the Resistance, at Montpellier University, then taught history at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand in Paris for 40 years. He encountered the Christian East among the Russian émigré community in Paris, particularly through the theologian Vladimir Lossky, and later said that he was attracted to the Orthodox union of “a sense of mystery and a sense of liberty”. After being baptised as an Orthodox in 1951, he made his mark at the St Sergius Orthodox Theological Institute in Paris, where he started to lecture in moral theology. In addition to his best-selling Roots of Christian Mysticism, Clément’s 30 books include The Spirit of Solzhenitsyn; Taize: a Meaning of Life; Three Prayers; and two volumes of conversations with the Ecumenical Patriarchs Athenagoras and Bartholomew I. Olivier Clément passed away on January 15, 2009. (Excerpts from the Telegraph obituary).