On November 30th 2023, brother Jean-Michel Poffet, OP of the Province of Switzerland was awarded the degree of Master in Sacred Theology. After the provincial of Switzerland, brother Benoît -Dominique de la Sougeole OP had read out the decree of the Master of the Order, Br. Gerard Francisco Timoner III, OP, conferring brother Jean Michel his degree, and the regent of studies of the province of Switzerland, brother Gilles Emmery, had pronounced the laudatio, the newly promoted Scripture scholar pronounced his magisterial lecture.
Brother Jean-Michel, who during nine years was director of the École Biblique et Archéologique française de Jérusalem and devoted many books and articles to Biblical books and figures, chose to present how two church fathers, Saint Augustin and Origenes, envisaged the study of the Bible. Through a wealth of quotations gleaned in their oeuvre, he showed how they searched and emphasized the prophetic dimension of Scripture. Exegesis is not just a study of what an author is relating in a particular moment in time and context but it should reveal how these historical texts hint at a point in time to come. Thus, the task of the biblical Scholar is to lift up the message of Scriptures to a level of living words so that they can accompany the journey of the people of God today towards the return of Christ.
Afterwards, the guests who had filled the aula of the Priory of Saint Hyacinth in Fribourg, had ample opportunity to congratulate brother Jean-Michel.