marianna napolitano

Marianna Napolitano
Affiliated PhD Student


Current Position

PhD program at the “Giuseppe Alberigo” European School for Advanced Religious Studies of the Fondazione per le scienze religiose. From 2018 she is doing Phd in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Religion of the Russian State University for the Humanities where she spent two periods of studying and research: in 2018 (three months) and in 2019-2020 (eleven months). My research investigates Church-State relations in Post Soviet Russia, with particular focus on external activities of the Russian Orthodox Church.

Education and Academic Experience

She studied at the University of Naples L’Orientale; her MA thesis, which she completed in 2015, analysed the concepts of modernity, modernization and democracy in the European Union and Russia in the contemporary age. It was supervised by Prof. A. Pierucci and Prof. F. Bettanin. During the academic year 2013-2014, in the field of the student exchange program of the Italian Minister for foreign Affairs she spent three months at the Lomonosov Moscow State University. In addition, she had an Erasmus internship at the Centre for EU-Russia Studies (University of Tartu) where she collaborated with Professor E. Berg to his research on de facto states and relations of the United States with Taiwan and the Transnistria.

From 2015 to 2016 worked at the Italian Institute of Culture in Ljubljana, initially as part of the Erasmus Traineeship Program and then as full-time employee assigned to the management of the library and language courses. In 2017 two months internship at the FSCIRE, where she collaborated with Davide Dainese to the work on volumes IV/1, IV/2, IV/3 of Conciliorum oecumenicorum generaliumque decreta.



M. Napolitano, Church-State Interplay in Post-Soviet Russia and the Image of the West, «Russian Journal of Political Studies» 5, 1 (2019), pp. 14-21.

Book Chapters

M. Napolitano, The Bolshevik War against Religion, in War and Communism, ed. by T. Hirschmüller, F. Jacob, Leiden, Brill, forthcoming.

M. Napolitano, Interreligious and Interfaith Dialogue in Post-Soviet Russia: Debates about Secularism and Post-secularism, in Annual Review of the Sociology of Religion, vol. X, Interreligious Dialogue: From Religion to Geopolitics, ed. by G. Giordan, A.P. Lynch, Leiden, Brill, 2019, pp. 181-197.

Conferences, seminars and workshop

24 October 2017, Religion and the Russian Revolution, Conference Reformations, modernities, orthodoxies: International Colloquium, The Institute for the Study of Culture and Christianity, Roma.

1-2 October 2018, “Traditional values” versus “Human rights” – Exploring the debate, as Respondent to the paper Traditional Values in the context of multiple moralities (in Russia), E. Stepanova (Ural Branch Academy of Sciences, Russia), Amsterdam, Protestant Theological University (PThU).

20 December 2019, Le Chiese nella crisi di Majdan, Seminar Crisi Ucraina, Fondazione per le scienze religiose, with Sergei Chapnin (VU Amsterdam). 

09-11 June 2019, Church-State interplay in Post Soviet Russia, and the Image of the West. Panel, Religion, Society and Politics, Forth Annual Tartu Conference on Russian and East European Studies, Communities in Flux: Rethinking Sovereignty and Identity in an Era of Change, University of Tartu, Estonia.

1- 4 December 2019, The Russian Language Ambassadors in the World project and the Cultural Diplomacy of the Russian Federation, Panel Methodological workshop 1. “Where and how should we speak mother tongue”, UNESCO Chairs Conference, Dialogue of Civilizations and Cross-Cultural Cooperation. Multilingualism as a factor to maintain the ethno-cultural diversity: educational strategies”, Moscow Pedagogical State University, Moscow. 

9- 11 January 2020, Soviet Religious policy in Ukraine: The Orthodox Church and the Revolution, 1917-1928, Panel Religion and Daily Life, Conference Study Group On The Russian Revolution XLVI, Annual Conference, University of Leuven, Leuven.