Rev. Canon Michael Bourdeaux

Founder and President of the Keston Institute

Oxford, United Kingdom


Michael Bourdeaux was born in 1934 and raised in Cornwall, one of England's most rural areas. After attending Truro School, he entered National Service, training as a Russian interpreter. He spent five years at St Edmund Hall, Oxford, reading Modern Languages, followed by Theology.

A decisive moment in his life occurred in 1959 when the British Council selected him as a member of the first-ever exchange program with the Soviet Union. During his year at Moscow University, persecution of religion recommenced under Nikita Khrushchev. So his life's devotion to studying the Church in Russia was originally based on his personal experiences.

No university offered courses on this subject, so after his ordination in the Church of England, Bourdeaux founded Keston College and Institute to encourage the systematic study of all aspects of church-state relations in the Soviet Union. His work highlighted the survival - and then the revival - of religion during these years. The scope of the Institute soon expanded to cover church-state relations in all communist countries, and at one time the Keston Institute employed 25 people. It has produced more than 30 books, published the journal, Religion in Communist Lands, and launched its successor, Religion, State, and Society.

In 1984, Michael Bourdeaux received the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion. He became an honorary canon of Rochester in 1989 and in 1996 the Archbishop of Canterbury awarded him a Lambeth Doctorate of Divinity. He retired in 1999 but continues a worldwide program of lecturing and writing.

The Keston Institute maintains its activities in the UK. However, since 2007 the archives and library have been managed by Baylor University in the Keston Center for Religion, Politics, and Society. The materials are currently housed in the Michael Bourdeaux Research Center on the third floor of Carroll Library.

Dr. Wallace Daniel

Distinguished University Professor of History

Mercer University


Wallace L. Daniel is Distinguished University Professor of History at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia. He served as Mercer's provost from 2008 to 2012. Prior to joining the Mercer faculty in July 2008, he was Ralph L. and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History at Baylor University, where he spent much of his earlier teaching career. He served as editor of the Journal of Church and State from 2006-2008, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1996-2005, and chair of the Department of History from 1992-1996. His scholarly expertise is Russian history with special interest in the period of Catherine II (the Great) and in Russian cultural and social history after the fall of the Soviet state. A member of Phi Beta Kappa, his undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2008, he was awarded the Cornelia Marschall Smith award at Baylor University for teaching, scholarship, and service.

Daniel's most recent publications include The Orthodox Church and Civil Society in Russia (2006); Wallace L. Daniel, Peter L. Berger, and Christopher Marsh (eds.), Perspectives on Church-State Relations in Russia (2008); "Alexander Men, Intellectual Freedom and the Russian Orthodox Church," Kirchliche Zeitgeschichte, Internationale Zeitschrift für Theologie und Geschichtswissenschaft 24, no. 1 (2011): 92-119; "Otets Aleksandr Men' i konflikt mezhdu svobodoi i vlast'iu" (Father Aleksandr Men' and the Conflict between Freedom and Power), in Dvadtsat' let bez Ottsa Aleksandra. I s nim, comp. Ekaterina Iu'evna Genieva (Moscow: Tsentr knigi Rudomino, 2010), 305-10; "Father Aleksandr Men and the Struggle to Recover Russia's Heritage," Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization 17, no. 1 (Winter 2009): 79-91; "Reconstructing the ‘Sacred Canopy': Mother Serafima and Novodevichy Monastery," Journal of Ecclesiastical History 48, no. 2 (April 2008): 249-71; and (with Meredith Holladay), "Church, State, and the Presidential Campaign of 2008," Journal of Church and State 50, no. 1 (Winter 2008): 5-22. Presently, he is writing an intellectual biography of Alexander Men, the renowned parish priest in Russia, who was murdered in 1990.