Katya Tolstaya appointed FDL professor in the field of "Theology and Religion in Post-Trauma Societies"

The Executive Board of the Vrije Universiteit has appointed Katya Tolstaya as Fenna Diemer-Lindeboom (FDL) professor in the field of "Theology and Religion in Post-Trauma Societies" from 1 February 2020.

02/14/2020 | 3:11 PM

Vrije Universiteit scholar Katya Tolstaya is an internationally renowned researcher in the field of processing the traumatic experiences in post-Soviet countries as a consequence of the Soviet regime (1917-1991). With an extensive international and multidisciplinary network of researchers that she has set up, she focuses specifically on the development of a Theology after Gulag, in which the most in-depth existential questions are raised that are evoked by systematic forms of dehumanization. She manages to create a dynamic synergy between religious studies and theological research traditions.
Research field
Her appointment as FDL professor will not only enable Dr. Tolstaya to further develop her field of research in a broad international context but also strengthen comparative research with colleagues from the fields of post-genocide and post-trauma experiences in other geographical areas. From her new chair, for example, she can coordinate and stimulate research into Peace, Trauma and Religion, which takes place at the Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT).
Dean and VU professor Ruard Ganzevoort comments on this appointment: “Katya Tolstaya is widely seen as an excellent and innovative researcher who meets the highest academic standards. Her profile is in line with FRT's strategic ambition to focus on the interaction between religion and society, as well as with the value-driven research in which the VU as a whole wants to excel.”
Head of department and VU professor Gijsbert van den Brink: “Her education is perceived as inspiring and is highly appreciated by the students. The Beliefs & Practices department is delighted with her appointment and congratulates Katya with it."
Theology after the Gulag
Katya Tolstaya about her appointment: “My research project Theology after Gulag is based on three pillars: (1) reflection on fundamental theological, methodological and theoretical questions; (2) cross-fertilization between various post-trauma theologies such as Theology after Auschwitz and post-Apartheid theology, and transitional justice theories; and (3) direct collaboration with stakeholders. This chair gives me even more opportunities to shape this complex field of research and to anchor it both internationally and at our faculty. I'm really looking forward to that! ”
The FDL program of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam is intended to spot and enable female scientific talent to flow to the top. In this way the structural under-representation of female professors is prevented.