Jean-Marie Jaspard, uno dei primi e più vicini allievi di Antoine Vergote, suo successore sulla cattedra di Psicologia della religione a Lovanio, è morto il 27 gennaio 2023. Grand amico della SIPR, sostenne l’ammissione, nel 1991, di un italiano nel Board del prestigioso gruppo European Psychologists of Religion.
Poco più che trentenne, nel 1971, si era segnalato per una impressionante ricerca empirica sulla psicologia religiosa dei bambini. Il lavoro, insignito del “Prix quinquennal Lumen Vitae” – sostenuto e diretto dal Prof. André Godin – venne pubblicato nel volume Dumoulin, A. & Jaspard, J-M, (1973), Les médiations religieuses dans l’univers de l’enfant: Prêtre et Eucharistie dans la perception du divin et l’attitude religieuse de 6 à 12 ans. Bruxelles: Lumen Vitae,
La notizia della sua morte ha suscitato il cordoglio degli amici, dei colleghi e dei numerosi allievi e collaboratori. Lo testimonia l’annuncio trasmesso da Vassilis Saroglou, attuale titolare dell’insegnamento di Psicologia della religione a Louvain-la-Neuve, e quello della mia personale risposta.
Da Vassilis Saroglou, il 30 gennaio 2023
Dear colleagues, I hope you are all doing well.
It is with sorrow that I would like to inform you that your and our colleague, and my ex-advisor, Jean-Marie Jaspard, passed away last Friday (he had heart problems and he died peacefully at home, at age 87, preferring not to have new heart operations). You knew him through different aspects and occurrences, e.g., Halina I think for years through the Jury for the Godin Prize, Valerie and Jacob in particular through the building in late 90s of the European Diploma in psychology of religion, and Mario through the good relationship they both had with Vergote. (I had also included Geraldo de Paiva in an earlier email this weekend addressed to those in the field with current or past affiliation with Louvain or Leuven). As an update of what you knew about Jean-Marie, I should underline the fact that, since his retirement (2000) till the end of the first year of Covid (2020), i.e. for 20 years, he has been a faithful active participant of our regular lab seminars (across the years: approx. monthly) in the Center for psychology of religion. He was each time plenty of ideas and of great encouragement, together with James Day, of my students—who had a tough advisor.
If you want to join us in your prayer/thoughts for Jean-Marie, it is good to know that the funeral is to be hold in his origin village Feschaux, very close to Beauraing (a community known for the Virgin Mary’s apparitions in 1932-1933).
Kind regards. Vassilis
Da Mario Aletti, il ………….
Dear Vassilis, Thank you for your message, despite its sorrowful content.
Jean-Marie Jaspard was always a close friend to me and many Italian colleagues.
I have numerous great memories of him. In 1991, in Lund, – the first time the Italian delegation attended a conference of European Psychologists of Religion – he endorsed my entry onto the board for which I continued to be a member for many years (subsequently becoming IAPR). On that occasion, he appreciated my lecture titled Religious experience, gender differences and religious language but did not hold back, in the friendliest and most constructive way possible, of course, from pointing out some minor errors in the book that I had just published the previous year. Some years before 1991, I only knew him for his impressive empirical research published in the volume Les médiations religieuses dans l’univers de l’enfant; prêtre et Eucharistie dans la perception du divin et l’attitude religieuse de 6 à 12 ans (1973). The book received the five-year Lumen Vitae Award “Prix quinquennal Lumen Vitae” designed and directed by Prof. André Godin, for whom I was a junior assistant in Rome these years.
Later, in 2002, Jean-Marie and I undertook a lecturing tour of Brazil, invited by De Paiva (Universidade de Sao Paulo) and Marilia Ancona-Lopez (Universidade Paulista). We spent a whole week surrounded by the kind hospitality of our Brazilian friends. Since then, our personal correspondence was regular and he would also receive and read the SIPR news with much relish. As a disciple and successor of Vergote to his chair, Professor Jaspard was also a great organiser within our scientific community and worked hard to open a European degree in the Psychology of Religion. In this role too, he was forthcoming with suggestions and help to several of my Italian students.
Among our correspondence, I particularly treasure the letter Jean-Marie wrote to me about the death of our common teacher and friend Vergote. He used very delicate words with which he described Vergote’s serene passing. As you can see, Vassilis, I have many reasons to remember Jean-Marie – gratitude for having been a great friend as well as a much-respected colleague and eminent scholar in our field. I take this opportunity to enclose some photos that portray his affable and loving nature.
A big hug. Mario