Michael Bourdeaux, an Anglican priest, was the founder of the forerunner of the Keston Center, the Center for the Study of Religion and Communism. In 1959-1960, Bourdeaux was one of the first British exchange students to the Soviet Union and it was then when he learned of the repression of the Russian Orthodox Church during Nikita Krushchev’s term. He purchased a copy of the first issue of Science and Religion (Nauka i Religiia) initiating the decades-long accumulation of primary sources on religion and state in the Soviet Union and other communist societies. With his commitment to being a “voice of the voiceless” and to scholarly research, Bourdeaux worked with two scholars, Leonard Schaprio and Peter Reddaway, to establish the Keston Institute in 1969.
In 1984, one year after Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Bourdeaux won the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion “for helping keep religion alive in East Europe.” In addition to providing leadership to the Keston Institute, Bourdeaux travelled to the Soviet Union, published prolifically, and taught lectures and seminars. Even after the relocation of the Keston archive and library to Baylor University, Bourdeaux remains on the Keston Advisory Board. In 2013, Bourdeaux delivered a keynote address at the first Keston Symposium titled “Religion and Political Culture in Communist Countries: Past, Present, and Future.” Although Bourdeaux was not directly involved in anti-communist or opposition movements in the Soviet Union, his career and life work aided the underground movements of religious dissent through various support, dissemination of information to the West, and various other means.
- Cornwall, United Kingdom
Ieinteresēto personu lomas
- Kulick, Orysia Maria
- Vagramenko, Tatiana