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Mercer Provost to Deliver Paper in Russia
on Major Russian Intellectual, Aleksandr Men’

January 15, 2010

Mark Vanderhoek
(478) 301-4037

MACON — Mercer University Provost Wallace Daniel will travel to Russia the week of Jan. 17 to deliver an invited presentation at the Library of Foreign Literature in conjunction with the kick-off event for a yearlong celebration of one of Russia’s most highly regarded public intellectuals, Aleksandr Men’.  Dr. Daniel, a Russia historian and expert on civil society in Russia, has studied the country throughout his academic career and will deliver a paper titled “Aleksandr Men’ and the Conflict Between Freedom and Power,” on Jan. 21 in the Great Hall of the library, where Men’ gave many of his public lectures.


Men’ was a parish priest in the Russian Orthodox Church and developed a large and devoted following both before and after his murder on Sept. 9, 1990. Men’ remains one of the most influential figures in the intellectual life of Russia, with more than 6 million of his books in print. Dr. Daniel is currently at work on an intellectual biography of Men’ and has published several recent papers on him.


“I’m really honored to be invited to speak at this event,” Dr. Daniel said. “Aleksandr Men’ is a significant figure in Russia who provided a sense of hope and possibility and openness in a country that hasn’t always generated hopefulness. He’s not that well known in this country, but I hope that he will be.”


Prior to his appointment as Mercer’s provost, Dr. Daniel was the Ralph L. and Bessie Mae Lynn Professor of History and editor of the Journal of Church and State at Baylor University. He previously served from 1996 to 2005 as dean of Baylor’s College of Arts and Sciences, the institution’s largest academic unit.  Dr. Daniel also served as founding director of Baylor’s Slavic Studies Program from 1986 to 1996, chair of the history department from 1992 to 1996 and director of the Honors Program from 1991 to 2003.


Dr. Daniel’s publications include Grigorii Teplov: A Statesman at the Court of Catherine the Great (1990) and The Orthodox Church and Civil Society in Russia (2006). Dr. Daniel was also editor, with Peter L. Berger and Christopher Marsh, of the book, Perspectives on Church-State Relations in Russia (2008). His articles on intellectual and social history, as well as on church and state issues, are published in Russian Review, The Slavonic and East European Review, Canadian-American Slavic Studies, Russian Review (in Russian), Religion, State and Society, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Demokratizatsiya, and Journal of Church and State.


An honors graduate in economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Dr. Daniel received his Ph.D. from the same institution, specializing in Russia. He twice has been awarded IREX fellowships and on three occasions has received Fulbright-Hays Fellowships to Russia and the former Soviet Union.


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