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12 million NOK goes to EEA funded research project on the Romanian Orthodox Church's role in the inclusion of Roma

12 million NOK goes to EEA funded research project on the Romanian Orthodox Church's role in the inclusion of Roma

The Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral in Romania. Stock image.

The Dormition of the Theotokos Cathedral in Romania. Stock image.

The research project will shed light on the Romanian Orthodox Church's role in the history of the Roma, especially in the period when the Roma were subject to slavery, in the communist era and the situation after the fall of the regime in 1989. Furthermore, a theological study will investigate the church’s official understanding, as well as "lived theology" found in the churches and among the priests today. The project will map Roma participation in Orthodox church life and inclusion / exclusion mechanisms in both Romania and Norway/the Nordic countries, as well as initiate pilot projects based on sustainable and participatory methods and the development of innovative local practices. The pilot projects are selected and run by local actors, in collaboration with the researchers.

Interdisciplinary team with four professors participates from VID

From VID's side, an interdisciplinary team consisting of professor Stephanie Dietrich (FTDL), professor Annette Leis-Peters (SDP), professor Inger Marie Lid (FH) and professor Tor Slettebø (FS) participates. In addition, a postdoc position will be announced in the spring of 2021.

Stephanie Dietrich, who leads the project on behalf of VID, emphasizes:

– I think the fact that such a diaconal project reaches the tough competition for EEA funds, shows both respect for and need for academic focus on the churches’ role in relation to the inclusion / exclusion of people who historically and to this day have been marginalized and discriminated against.

Stephanie Dietrich. Photo: Erlend Berge, Vårt Land.