Zdeněk V. David, Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars since February 2002, was born in Blatná, Czech Republic, in 1931. After coming to the United States in September 1947, he studied at the Putney School in Vermont in 1947–48, then at Wesleyan University (politics and philosophy, B.A. 1952), and did graduate work at Harvard (Russian area studies, M.A. 1954; history, Ph.D. 1960). He taught historiography, and Russian and East European history at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor from 1960 to 1965. From 1966 to 1974, he served as Slavic bibliographer and history lecturer in Russian and East European history at Princeton University, and from 1974 to 2002 as Librarian at the Woodrow Wilson Center.
His book, Realism, Tolerance, Liberalism in the Czech National Awakening: Legacies of the Bohemian Reformation (Washington, DC: Wilson Center Press; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press) was published in 2010. A previous book, Finding the Middle Way: The Utraquists’ Liberal Challenge to Rome and Luther (Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press; Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press) appeared in 2003. A Czech translation is now under preparation. With the late Robert Kann he is coauthor of the Peoples of the Eastern Habsburg Lands, 1526–1918 (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1984). He compiled the Bibliography of Works in the Philosophy of History for 1978–82 (with Robert Strassfeld), and for 1983–87 (Middletown, CT: Wesleyan University, 1984-89). He edited the Scholars’ Guides to Washington, D.C. series (15 vols. 1977–1995).
His journal articles have appeared in Austrian History Yearbook, Bohemia, Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice, Carl Beck Papers, Church History, Ceský casopis historický, Communio Viatorum, EEPS: East European Politics and Societies, East European Jewish Affairs, Filosofický casopis, Folia Historica Bohemica, Journal of Ecclesiastical History, Kosmas, Sbornik Narodního muzea, Sixteenth Century Journal, Slavic Review, and Slavonic and East European Review. David is currently conducting research on the philosophical and religious background of Thomas G. Masaryk’s politics.
In the early 1990s, David joined David R. Holeton and Vilém Herold in organizing symposia on “The Bohemian Reformation and Religious Practice,” six of which were held during the World Congresses of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences (Prague 1994, Brno l996, Bratislava 1998, Washington 2000, Plzen, 2002, Olomouc 2004), and six additional ones under the auspices of the Philosophy Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (Prague in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, and 2010). He co-edited seven volumes of the symposia papers that have appeared in 1996-2009. In November 2002, he was invited to address the Historical Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences on the subject of the Bohemian Reformation. He has served as a Vice-President of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences, as its Secretary General, and as a Member at Large of the Executive Committee of the Czechoslovak Studies Association (formerly, Czechoslovak Studies Conference). He received the František Palacký Honorary Medal for Merit in Historical Sciences from the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic in 2009, and the Prize of the Prague Chapter of the Czechoslovak Society of Arts and Sciences in 2010.