Alexander Men
lecture Nikolai Aleksandrovich Berdyaev

Slidefilm "Father Alexander Men"
English version (32,3Mb)
by Sergei Bessmertny

Aleksander Men (1935-1990), Orthodox priest, theologian, biblical scholar, preacher, writer. Born in Moscow, in a Jewish family. Baptized at seven months along with his mother in the banned Catacomb Church (a branch of the Orthodox Church that refused to cooperate with the Soviet authorities). Studied at the Moscow Fur Institute (1953-54), then at the Irkutsk Agriculture Institute (1955-1958), from which he was expelled because of his religious convictions. Ordained as a deacon in 1958. In 1960, graduated from the Leningrad Theological Seminary and ordained as a priest. In 1968, graduated by correspondence from the Moscow Theological Academy. In 1969, defended a dissertation at the Moscow Theological Academy on the subject, "Elements of monotheism in pre-Christian religions and philosophies"; doctor of theology.

Served in a number of parishes in the Moscow region. From the beginning of the 1970s, one of the most famous religious figures in Russia, extremely popular among the intelligentsia. KGB persecuted him for active missionary activity and ecumenical views. Certain representatives of the Orthodox circles criticized M. sharply for his activity, which they called "non-Orthodox" and even "Jewish". From the middle of the 1980s, works actively with the mass media, teaches and lectures. One of the initiators of the founding of the Russian Bible Society (founded in 1990); that same year he founded the Open Orthodox University and "The World of the Bible" journal. In September 1990, was killed on the way to church. Despite personal orders from the President of the USSR and later the President of Russia that the case be investigated, the murder remained unsolved.

Author of numerous books and articles in Russian and foreign religious and scholarly journals. While M. was alive no one his book has been published in his own country. Until 1991, Men's books were published abroad (under the pseudonyms E. Svetlov, A. Bogolyubov, A. Pavlov): "Son of Man" (1969), "Heaven on Earth" (1969), "History of Religion: In Search of the Way, the Truth and the Life" (Volumes 1-6, 1970-83), "Where Did This All Come From?" (1972) "How to Read the Bible?" (1981); from 1991 repeatedly reissued in Russia. Published posthumously from 1990-2002, "The History of Religions" (Volumes 1-2, 1997), "The First Apostles" (1998), "Isagogika" (2000), "Bibliological Dictionary" (Volumes 1-3, 2002), collections of articles, lectures, speeches, sermons, correspondence. Numerous books and articles have been translated into English, Lithuanian, Polish, Ukrainian, French, German, Italian and other languages.