Current Fellows

Nikola Pantić is a Permanent Fellow at the Center for Religious Studies, CEU, and a postdoc researcher and lecturer at the Department of Near Eastern Studies, University of Vienna. He studies religious establishments and charismatic authority in early modern Ottoman Sunnism, and focuses on the history of the beliefs in grace, wonder-workers, cults of saints, and thaumaturgical rituals in Islam before modernity.

Kateryna Kovalchuk has graduated from Ivan Franko Lviv State University with a degree in Classics. Having completed her MA and MPhil in Medieval Studied at CEU, she then earned her doctorate in Greek and Latin: Language and Literature from KULeuven. She was a recipient of a number of fellowships at top institutions for Byzantine research, including the University of Oxford, Dumbarton Oaks, NRF in Athens with Onassis scholarship. She has written about Animal Sacrifice in Christianity, the Festival of Encaenia and its hagiographical expression in Jerusalem and Constantinople, the image of Justinian in Byzantium. At the moment, her research focuses on Byzantine legends of church and monastery foundation and cultural memory.

Boris Falikov holds PhD dissertation “Hindu and Buddhist based movements in the USA” from the Institute of American and Canadian Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences). He has been a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences) and an Associate professor at the Russian State University for the Humanities (Moscow). He specializes in comparative religions, oriental studies and the research of new religious movements and is the author of numerous articles in scientific journals in Russia and abroad and of several books published in Moscow. Quality Value. Oriental Religions, Occultism and the Art of the 20th century, Moscow, NLO Publishers, 2017; “Cults” and Culture, Moscow, RGGU Publishers, 2007; Neo-Hinduism and Western Culture, Moscow, Nauka Publishers, 1994 are among them. Lately he has become interested in the influence of oriental religions and occultism on modernism. His book Quality Value. Oriental Religions, Occultism and the Art of the 20th century covered this fascinating topic.  Now he is working on the book Occultism and Avantgarde in the USSR 


Dr. Chiara Di Serio is a research affiliate to the Center for Religious Studies at the Central European University. She has a long training in History of Religions and is specialized in Religions of the Classical World, which she studied at the Roman School of the University of Rome La Sapienza. In February 2020 she received her PhD degree from the same university, discussing a dissertation entitled The Correspondence between Alexander and Dindimus: the Making of the Image of the Brahmans, focused on the Latin text of the fictional epistolary between Alexander the Great and Dindimus, head of the Brahmans. Her research interests concern the Graeco-Roman ethnographic literature on Eastern countries and peoples, specifically the descriptions of India and its inhabitants. She has already published some articles on these topics and is currently carrying out a research project focused on the narratives about the “naked philosophers” (the Gymnosophists/Brahmans) from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.