Katya Tolstaya - Director INaSEC
Katya Tolstaya (officially: Tolstoj) is Chair of Theology and Religion in Post-Trauma Societies at the Faculty of Religion and Theology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Founding Director Institute of the Academic Study of Eastern Christianity (INaSEC), and Founding President of the Association for Post-Soviet Theology and Study of Religion (PAST). She specializes in the revival of religion, and the Russian Orthodox Church in particular, and the impact of the Soviet legacy on religion in post-Soviet societies. Establishing a Theology after Gulag is currently the main focus of her studies, but she is also actively publishing and teaching on Western systematic theology, literature and methodology in study of religion. Read more about Katya Tolstaya.
Anna Agaltsova - Affiliate Researcher
Anna Agaltsova graduated from the Master's programme in Social Research at VU University Amsterdam in 2013. For this programme she received a VUFP scholarship for talented prospective students. In 2014 she published an article on female collective identities in Russia in the special issue of Religion and Gender dedicated to the Pussy Riot performance. Her research interests lie in the areas of critical discourse analysis, event theory, collective identities, power relations and transitional societies.
Frank Bestebreurtje - Senior Researcher
Frank Bestebreurtje obtained his MA cum laude in 1997 at the University of Utrecht, and his PhD magna cum laude in 2003 at the University of Basel with a thesis on Franz Overbeck and the historiography of the New Testament canon. In 2006-2007 he was Research Fellow at the Faculty of Theology, University of Basel. Laureate of several grants for editorial work, most recently Friedrich Schleiermachers Über die Religion (2012). Since 2010 he is Senior Researcher at INaSEC.
Dmitry Melnikov - Affiliate Researcher
Dmitry Melnikov is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University (ENU), Astana, Kazakhstan. He obtained his MA in 2013 at ENU. During his master course he studied at Vilnius University, Lithuania, and passed a research internship at INaSEC. From 2012-2014 he was a Research Fellow in the research project "Anthropology of Moralities: Discourses and Everyday Practices in Kazakhstan", and since 2015 he is a Senior Research Fellow in the project "Current Memory Practices: the Conceptualization of the Past and the Construction of Identity in Contemporary Culture of Kazakhstan", both at ENU.
Borislav Prodanovic - Affiliate Researcher
Borislav Prodanovic is a theologian, icon painter and musician from Serbia. He studied at the Orthodox Theological Institute in Belgrade, Serbia and at the Protestant Theological Seminary in Novi Sad, Serbia, where he received his bachelor's and M.A. degree in Theology (both summa cum laude). His research interest and vision concern Orthodox theology and praxis in contemporary times. He has been especially interested in dialectical relations, tensions and constitutive dialogues between Orthodoxy and Feminist and Liberation theologies.
Stella Rock - Senior Researcher
Stella Rock has an MA (Distinction) and DPhil in Russian and East European Studies from the University of Sussex, Brighton (UK). Her doctoral research on the medieval language and modern historiography of Russian ‘double-belief’ was funded by the British Academy and published by Routledge. Her broad research area remains Russian Orthodox Christianity, with a particular focus on lived religion, and the relationship between religion, historical memory and identity. She is currently researching the revival of pilgrimage in post-Soviet Russia for a volume contracted in the Routledge Studies in Religion, Travel and Tourism series.