Tornike Metreveli

Docent in Sociology of Religions, Researcher

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Personal profile


I am a docent in Sociology of Religions at Center for Theology and Religious Studies. I received my doctorate in sociology (magna cum laude) from the University of Bern (2017) where I was honored to work under Professor Christian Joppke’s supervision within the Swiss Government’s Excellence Scholarship scheme. Before joining the University of St Gallen, where I had the privilege of working with Professor Ulrich Schmid, I was a Swiss National Science Foundation Fellow at Harvard University’s Davis Center, Open Society Research Fellow at the London School of Economics (LSE), and Hansard Society Research Fellow at the House of Commons (UK Parliament). I am a student of nationalism (MSc in Nationalism Studies from the University of Edinburgh) with research interests in the intersection of nationalism and Christianity in the geographical spaces of the former Soviet Union and Yugoslavia. My first book - Orthodox Christianity and the Politics of Transition (2021, London: Routledge) discusses in detail how Orthodox Christianity was involved in and influenced political transition in Ukraine, Serbia and Georgia after the collapse of communism. Based on original research, including extensive interviews with clergy and parishioners as well as historical, legal and policy analysis, the book argues that the nature of the involvement of churches in post-communist politics depended on whether the interests of the church (for example, in education, the legal system or economic activity) were accommodated or threatened: if accommodated, churches confined themselves to the sacred domain; if threatened they engaged in daily politics. If churches competed with each other for organizational interests, they evoked the support of nationalism while remaining within the religious domain.
My current postdoctoral project in Lund brings original insight into the organizational ecology of Orthodox churches, their operational tactics and geopolitical assertions in Ukraine. This constitutes my ongoing book project and a focus area at Christianity and Nationalism research platform where I am also a member of the steering group
I was the Principal Investigator (PI) of the project Coronavirus: A New Test(ament) of Orthodox Christianity which examined the responses of Orthodox churches to the global pandemic (resulted in an edited volume (in press) for Routledge). I was a PI of the project Territoriality of the Georgian Orthodox Church resulting in an open database of religious narratives and the first-ever geospatial account of all Orthodox churches in Georgia ( for what I received EU Prize for Journalism. Check out my Google Scholar page for my academic publications.


I found the podcast Conversation Series in which I host eminent scholars and discuss their recent work. We reached in December 2022 1600 monthly listeners via all podcast medium platforms. More details are available at our new web platform. Check our episodes by going to the Spotify link.


I am an editor of  the Religion and Praxis platform which unites a blog and a monthly podcast. The purpose of the platform is to enhance knowledge and understanding about the fundamental historical, political and social processes affecting the relationship between religion, nationalism and theology. See all episodes of my podcast.


I have ten years of teaching experience on various levels in Bern and St. Gallen Universities. I am prepared to teach undergraduate and MA-level classes online or in-person on a variety of topics, including religion and ethnic politics, religion and organized violence, Christianity and nationalism, populism and Christian theology, sociology of sport, and social movements.


  • Orthodox Christianity
  • Sociology of religion
  • nationalism


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Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or