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Dr Ina Merdjanova

Adjunct Assistant Professor


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Ina Merdjanova (PhD Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski") has scholarly training in philosophy of religion, theology, and sociology of religion. Her research has focused on the intersection of society, religious and cultural pluralism, nationalism, gender, conflict and peace building, with particular reference to post-1989 developments in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and, more recently, in Turkey. She has held visiting fellowships at Oxford University, Birmingham University, the Centre for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at Edinburgh University, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC, the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Central European University in Budapest, and Radboud University in Nijmegen, among others. She has won research grants from the British Academy, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Volkswagen Foundation, the United State Institute of Peace, and the European Commission.

Dr. Merdjanova previously served as director of the Centre for Interreligious Dialogue and Conflict Prevention at the Scientific Research Department of Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (2004-2010). In 2010, she was awarded a two-year Senior Marie Curie Intra-European Career Development Fellowship. During the tenure of this fellowship at the Irish School of Ecumenics, she completed a book on Muslims in the Balkans, cooperated in the design and delivery of two Intensive Erasmus Programs (in Istanbul, Turkey, and Constantia, Romania), and developed and taught three MA modules: "Muslims in the Balkans and the Building of a European Islam," "Islam and Christianity in Southeast Europe: Contact, Conflict and Cooperation," and "Religion and Peacebuilding in Southeast Europe." Currently, she is an adjunct assistant professor at the School, and works on a research project on post-1980s transformations in Turkey at the intersection of religion, gender and minority communities.

Dr. Merdjanova is the author of five books, editor of 3 volumes, and author of over fifty articles, and she has lectured and presented numerous conference papers at various academic institutions throughout the world. Her major publications include the books Religion, Nationalism, and Civil Society in Eastern Europe - The Postcommunist Palimpsest (Edwin Mellen Press, 2002), Religion as a Conversation Starter: Interreligious Dialogue for Peacebuilding in the Balkans (with Patrice Brodeur; Continuum, 2009; paperback 2011), and Rediscovering the Umma: Muslims in the Balkans between Nationalism and Transnationalism (Oxford University Press, 2013; paperback 2016). These books have made important contributions to the study of religion, minorities, democratization, nationalism, conflict and peace in Eastern Europe as reflected in multiple positive reviews in high-profile academic journals and in their consequent translation into foreign languages.

After extensive fieldwork in Turkey and research fellowships in the last years at the Aleksanteri Institute at Helsinki University, the Freiburg Institute for Advanced Studies and the Remarque Institute at New York University, Ina Merdjanova has received a 5-month research fellowship at the Centre for Advanced Studies in Sofia to complete her project on Kurdish women and the struggle for peace in Turkey. Her research on Islam in the Kurdish Peace Process in Turkey (2013-15) has been published in Comparative Kurdish Politics in the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan 2018), ed. by Emel Elif Tugdar and Serhun Al.

Areas of Expertise
Religion and Politics in Post-Communist Society; Muslims in the Balkans; Islam in Europe; Orthodox Christianity; Religion and Peacebuilding; Muslim-Christian Dialogue; New Religious Movements; Gender and Religion; Minorities, Religion and Politics in Turkey.




Last updated 21 March 2018 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).