Panel Discussion

Religion, State and Diversity in the South Caucasus

The purpose of this roundtable is to shed light on the processes of nation-building in the context of religion. This includes not only the current relationship between state and religion, but also a bottom-up perspective of religious belonging and their representation in public space. We will discuss to what extent the growing religious diversity challenges the representation of religion as a key element of national identity.

In addition, and in light of Putin's invasion of Ukraine, we plan to consider potential impacts within the South Caucasus nation-states, including the initial reactions of religious communities and their leaders.

Each speaker will give a short input (10-15 minutes).

The event will be held in English and open to the general public (upon registration). You will have the opportunity to ask questions in person or via chat. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Tsypylma Darieva (tsypylma.darieva(at)zois-berlin(dot)de), Sina Giesemann (Sina.Giesemann(at)zois-berlin(dot)de), or Anja Krüger (events(at)zois-berlin(dot)de).


  • Orthodox Christianity and Geopolitics of Spirituality by Tornike Metreveli (Postdoctoral Researcher at Lund University, Centre for Theology and Religious Studies, Research Affiliate at University of St. Gallen)
  • Escaping ‘identity trap’ in the secular nation-state by Leila Alieva (Richard for Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy, Russian and East European Studies at University of Oxford’s School of Global and Area Studies)
  • Discussant: Silvia Stöber (Journalist, sociologist and expert on the South Caucasus)
  • Moderation by Tsypylma Darieva & Sina Giesemann (ZOiS, Berlin)