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Dr Ina Merdjanova

Adjunct Assistant Professor


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Ina Merdjanova has scholarly training in philosophy of religion, theology, and sociology of religion. She received her PhD from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski,” and has held visiting fellowships at Oxford University and other institutions in the UK, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, and the USA.

Dr. Merdjanova previously served as director of the Center for Interreligious Dialogue and Conflict Prevention at the Scientific Research Department of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (2004-2010). In the framework of this Center, she organized and co-taught some fifteen workshops, both in Bulgaria and in other Southeast European countries, on topics such as “Youth, Interreligious Dialogue and Conflict Resolution,” “Christianity and Islam in the Balkans: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives,” “Women in Christianity and Islam.” In 2005, she received a three-year collaborative grant (with Dr. Patrice Brodeur of Montreal University) from the United States Institute of Peace to research interreligious peacebuilding in the Balkans after the fall of communism.

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 until Fall 2012, 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 has started a new research project on post-1980s transformations in Turkey at the intersection of religion and gender.

Dr. Merdjanovahas lectured at different universities and presented papers at various international conferences throughout the world.She is the author of numerous book and journal publications on the role of religion in postcommunist societies, the major of which are 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), and Rediscovering the Umma: Muslims in the Balkans between Nationalism and Transnationalism (Oxford University Press, 2013).

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; Religion, Politics, and Society in Turkey.


Last updated 14 September 2015 by Irish School of Ecumenics (Email).