Jan 02, 2019
Dmitriy Ivanov

BBC features Political Science Prof., Expert on Russian Novelist Solzhenitsyn

Assumption University Professor of Political Science Daniel J. Mahoney’s, Ph.D., fall semester has been highlighted by the release of a new book, as well as an interview broadcast to a global audience and  keynote presentations at conferences at Notre Dame, Yale, Princeton University and in Paris, all on his expertise with regard to Russian novelist Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

Prof. Mahoney’s new book, The Idol of Our Age: How the Religion of Humanity Subverts Christianity (Encounter Books) was released on December 4. According to the publisher’s website, “this book is a learned essay at the intersection of politics, philosophy, and religion. It is first and foremost a diagnosis and critique of the secular religion of our time, humanitarianism, or the ‘religion of humanity.’” Prof. Mahoney’s book was recently chosen by Real Clear Books as its Book of the Week. It has also been reviewed at City Journal and VOEGELINVIEW and has been the subject of podcasts at Liberty and Law and National Review.  

“It has been a most rewarding and challenging experience to both honor the life, moral witness, and literary art of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and to see my book inspire serious discussion about the public place or role of the Christian proposition,” said Prof. Mahoney, adding that there are several major forthcoming reviews of his book, and he will be featured on a the podcast First Things, the influential journal on religion and public life in January.

In addition to his own book, Prof. Mahoney wrote the Foreword to Solzhenitsyn’s Between Two Millstones (University of Notre Dame Press), the first volume of his memoir of his years in the West (1974-1978), which was published in October 2018 and has been widely reviewed. 

Prof. Mahoney recently headlined a conference at Princeton University entitled Fearless Prophets: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Aleksandr Solzhenitsynand served as a featured speaker in Paris at an international colloquium celebrating the centenary of Solzhenitsyn’s birth, an event titled “Un Ecrivain en Lutte Avec Son Siècle” (translation: A Writer Struggling With His Century).  He also penned a “centennial tribute” in Solzhenitsyn’s honor for City Journal.

Prof. Mahoney’s expertise on the Russian novelist attracted the interest of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC),  who invited him to appear on a program entitled “Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn: Revealing the Gulag,” in which Prof. Mahoney discussed the Russian writer who exposed the grim world of Soviet forced labor camps.  In addition, he interviewed Ignat Solzhenitsyn, son on Aleksandr, who discussed his father’s life, work, and legacy, at an event sponsored by the Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame.