Viktoria Vitanova-Kerber

PhD Student and Research Assistant, Université de Fribourg, Switzerland

Viktoria Vitanova-Kerber is a scholar of religion and politics. After a B.A. in International Relations from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria in 2016 and an M.A. in the Study of Religion from Leipzig University, Germany in 2019, she is currently working at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland writing a dissertation about esotericism in late-socialist Bulgaria. Her main research focus lies on the nexus between religion, science, and politics in the long 20th century and especially in the development of esotericism, alternative religiosity, and non-hegemonic religious groups in Eastern Europe and their ambivalent relations with the political authorities during the socialist and the post-socialist period.

Her recent publications include:

–  From Sofia’s Salons to the Mountain Ranges of Kozhuh – Social and Functional Dimensions of Esotericism in Late-Socialist Bulgaria, in: Baltic Worlds 2021:4 Special Theme “Alternative Beliefs and New Age in Eastern Europe”, 50–61.

–  A Symbiosis of Religious Affections and State Socialism: Bulgaria’s Foreign Cultural Policy of the late 1970s, in Polish Journal of the Arts and Culture. New Series. Special Issue: Occultism and Politics in Central and Eastern Europe (in press 2023).

–  The Seer and the Church: The Ambivalent Relationship Between “Baba Vanga” and the Bulgarian Orthodox Church After the Fall of Socialism, in: Ionut Băncilă und Vassilios Makrides (eds.), Esotericism and Orthodox Christianities (in press 2023).

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