of Alberta

Shepherds, Servants and Prophets

Leadership among the Russian Mennonites (ca. 1880-1960)

shepherds servants & prophetsThis volume presents twenty-four short biographies of some of the spiritual, intellectual and cultural Russian-Mennonite leaders who sought to serve and guide their people through difficult times. The period from 1880 to 1960 was chosen because it was during this time that Russian Mennonites experienced the most revolutionary changes in their history: great intellectual, cultural and material strides, World War I and the Communist Revolution, the collapse of their “Mennonite Commonwealth,” the Stalinist Terror, emigration, their suffering during World War II, and their resettlement in new countries. The authors of the biographies were asked to briefly summarize the leaders’ lives, discuss their significant world and writing, and evaluate their contribution to Mennonite society and beyond. The biographies were to be objective, even critical, accounts, not stories of “perfect” leaders, although some writers found it easy to acknowledge the great contribution their subjects had made in serving their poeple in the period under discussion.