Rev. Dr. John R. Dupuche was born in 1940 in Melbourne, Australia, to French parents who had come to Australia on business and who were prevented from returning to France by the outbreak of the World War II. The family language and culture was French. During his childhood he travelled many times to France with his family.
On leaving secondary school he entered the Jesuits and completed an undergraduate degree in Scholastic Philosophy. Later, at Melbourne University he obtained an Honours Degree in French and German and went on to complete a Masters Degree in French literature (with a thesis on Citadelle by A. de St Exupery). After a year of training for the Diplomatic Service in the Foreign Affairs Department in Canberra he went on to study theology completing a double degree in theology at Catholic Theological College and at the Melbourne College of Divinity and was ordained priest in 1974. He taught theology for many years at what is now the Australian Catholic University where he was head of the Religious Education Department (at Christ Campus). During a year’s sabbatical in the California, Italy and Tamil Nadu and with the advice of Dom Bede Griffiths osb and Dom Thomas Matus osb he came in contact with Kashmir Shaivism.
After some years in parish ministry and with advice from Prof. Alexis Sanderson of Oxford he completed a doctorate in Sanskrit with a translation and commentary on Chapter 29 of the Tantraloka by Abhinavagupta, which describes the Kula ritual, an extreme tantric ritual. This was published in 2003 by Motilal Banarsidass.
During this time of study he came in contact with Prof. Dr. Bettina Bäumer whom he accompanied in 1998 on an epic trip to Mt Kailash and Lake Manasarovar. He travels to India each year where he has a house in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha State, south of Kolkata.
He is Honorary Fellow at the Australian Catholic University with special involvement in interfaith relations, and senior lecturer at MCD University of Divinity. He is chair of the Catholic Interfaith Committee of the Archdiocese and member of the executive of the School of Prayer within the Archbishop’s Office for Evangelisation . He has a doctorate in Sanskrit, specialising in Kashmir Shaivism and is particularly interested in its interface with Christianity. His book: Abhinavagupta: the Kula Ritual as Elaborated in Chapter 29 of the Tantrāloka was published in 2003; Jesus, the Mantra of God in 2005; and Vers un Tantra Chrétien in 2009 (translated as Towards a Christian Tantra). He has written many articles in these fields.
He is president of the Mela Interfaith Assoiation which seeks to develop the dialogue of religious experience.
He has established an interfaith ashram in Warburton with Yogi Matsyendranath, Virati, Nathini, Andy Topor, Dr Herman Roborgh. They represent various traditions: Christianity (Catholic), Nath Yoga, Kashmir Shaivism, Samkhya Yoga, Daoism, Islam.
He has also established a pastoral relationship with the parishes of Lilydale and Healesville where he regularly celebrates Mass.