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Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović

  • Christianity
  • Serbia
  • Female
  • Serbia
  • Southern Europe
  • KAICIID Fellows

Biography Narrative

Anthropologist and Research Fellow at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Dr. Aleksandra Djurić Milovanović is a research fellow at the Institute for Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts (Belgrade, Serbia). She studied philology at the University of Belgrade and received her Master’s Degree in political sciences (2008). Aleksandra earned her PhD in ethnology and anthropology (2012) from the University of Belgrade, Faculty of Philosophy. Her academic research has been primarily focused on the anthropology of religion, Church history, religion and migration, and contemporary evangelical movements in Serbia and Romania. Since 2007, she has conducted extensive ethnographic and archival research in Serbia, Romania, and in the United States. She has published academic papers in various languages, edited volumes, and participated in numerous programs, workshops, and international conferences worldwide. In 2017, she was awarded the position of Visiting Fellow at the University College Cork – Study of Religions (Ireland). Her book Double Minorities in Serbia: Distinctive Aspects of the Religion and Ethnicity of the Romanians in Vojvodina was published in 2015 by the Institute for Balkan Studies SASA (Belgrade, Serbia). Aleksandra has several years’ experience working and researching in multiethnic, multiconfessional, and multilingual Christian communities in the Balkans. Recently, she co-edited the volume Orthodox Christian Renewal Movements in Eastern and Southeastern Europe (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). Aleksandra is particularly interested in the promotion of tolerance, interreligious dialogue, minority rights and student education.

Interreligious Activities and Initiatives

Interreligious Dialogue in the Context of Religious Education in Serbia

In 2001, after years of communist and the atheist regime in Yugoslavia, religious education was again introduced into the Serbian educational system. The return of religious education, both in elementary and high school level, was sought on the basis of the right to education, freedom to choose religious education of your own church or religious community. According to a 2006 Law on Churches and Religious Communities, the status of a traditional church is recognized as follows: the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Slovakian Evangelist Church, the Christian Reformist Church, the Evangelist Christian Church, the Islamic Religious Community and the Jewish Religious Community. In this predominantly Orthodox Christian but still a multiconfessional area of Eastern Europe. The key is a better understanding of the importance of tolerance and strengthening of interreligious dialogue among different religious and ethnic groups. In creating religious education curricula, churches and religious communities developed collaboration on various levels. This research project aims to analyse the presence of interreligious dialogue in the Serbian religious education system, namely in high school textbooks.

Alongside the content analysis of religious textbooks, I will conduct qualitative interviews with religious leaders, church representatives and policymakers included in developing of religious education curricula from 2001 until the present. It is important for the youth to start learning the basic principles of interreligious dialogue in the first years of their education. Therefore, the project will focus on the status of interreligious dialogue and integration of programs related to teaching IRD in Serbian high schools and university level programs.