Alexander Men

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Father Alexander Men (1935-1990)
Father Alexander Men

Father Alexander Vladimirovich Men (1935-1990) was a Russian Orthodox archpriest, theologian, preacher and prolific author of books on theology, the history of Christianity and other religions.


Born Jewish, Alexander Men was baptized as an infant along with his mother, who had become a member of the underground church in Russia under Soviet suppression.

Father Alexander Men was a voice "crying in the wilderness" during the time of the Soviet atheistic domination of Russian culture and also during the critical transition of Russia into freedom in the late 1980s, when Mikhail Gorbachev declared the policies of perestroika and glasnost.

Fr. Men's ministry, which lasted for more than thirty years, coincided with the very difficult times for the Russian believers, and he personally became a target for the KGB. His influence on contemporary Russia is unquestionable, and his life remains to this day a powerful example of witness for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

During his lifetime, Fr. Men baptized thousands of people, bringing them to Christian faith by the grace of God. His works include many books, an Orthodox Open University, a charity group at the Russian Children's Hospital, and a Youth Missionary School.

Father Alexander Men was murdered with an ax on September 9 1990 in a forest as he made his way to church. His funeral was held on the day commemorating the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, who was "the voice crying in the wilderness to prepare the way of the Lord."


Recent works by Alexander Men in English translation include:

  • "An Inner Step Toward God: Writings and teachings on Prayer", (2014)ISBN 978-1612612386;
  • "Russian Religious Philosophy: 1989-1990 Lectures" (frsj Publications, 2015). ISBN 978-0996399227 (in 25th Year Memory Commemoration)


Priest Daniel Sysoev considered Alexander Men as a heretic, listing 9 major beliefs, which are incompatible with Orthodoxy:

  1. Manichaeism. - The doctrine of Satan's complicity in the creation of the world, the result of which was allegedly an evolution.
  2. The doctrine of man as transformed ape. Contradicts the definition of five Ecumenical Council against Origen (there proclaimed that the soul and the body appeared at the same time. Regarding Men's teaching, his opinion was condemned by the Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate of 7.12.1935 in the case of Fr. Sergius Bulgakov)
  3. The rejection of the divine inspiration of the Holy Scripture (see anathemas of Sunday of Orthodoxy).
  4. The rejection of original sin and postulating independence the death of human sins (see 124 rule of Carthage Counsil)
  5. The rejection of the existence of personal Adam and the introduction of kabbalah teaching of Adam Kadmon.
  6. Rejection of authorship almost all the Old Testament books (see anathemas against Theodore of Mopsuestia of 5 Ecumenical Council).
  7. In the teachings of the Church - the adoption of the theory of branches (condemned at Jubilee Council 2000).
  8. Syncretism <...> condemned (along with theosophy) at the Council in 1994
  9. Encouragement of magic and extrasensoric (in a lecture to students of extrasensory school) entails 25 years of excommunication from the Communion. And it is almost only guilt which dump on the priest at once two penalties - defrocking and excommunication. (Rules of 6 Ecumenical Council, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nyssa, etc.)

Note: The Moscow Patriarchate has not censured either Fr. Men or his writings. And the criticisms listed here are not convincing without citations from Fr. Men's works. Indeed, the Moscow Patriarchate Izdatel'stvo publishing house has begun a project to publish Fr. Men's "Collected Works" in a series of 15 volumes.[1]

Quotes by Father Alexander Men

  • "I find more meaning in the wing of a bird and in the branch of a tree than in five hundred icons. God has given us two books: the Bible and Creation." ― Fr. Alexander Men
  • "I work now as I have always worked: with my face into the wind... I'm only an instrument that God is using for the moment. Afterwards, things will be as God wants them." ― Fr. Alexander Men

External links