Dr. Romina Istratii is Senior Teaching Fellow at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, teaching currently on Religions and Development. Her research lies at the intersection of gender, religious and development and applies a decolonial perspective to gender and development practice informed by a decade’s experience in community-based research in sub-Saharan Africa. She has previously written on the ethics of international development, western gender metaphysics and religious knowledge systems, and the discourse of fundamentalism in gender studies. Dr Istratii’s most recent research project was a decolonial ethnographic study of conjugal abuse in the Ethiopian Orthodox Täwahәdo community of Aksum, which has evolved into the on-going HFGF-funded project “Religion, conscience and abusive behaviour: Understanding the role of faith and spirituality in the deterrence of intimate partner violence in rural Ethiopia.” Dr Istratii is co-founder of the open-access publishing platform Decolonial Subversions.
These restrictions must take into careful consideration the historicity of each religious tradition, the social influence of religious beliefs among its citizens, but also theological and exegetical specificities that influence the tradition’s adaptability to the current emergency. Without such thoughtful considerations and a close collaboration with trusted religious authorities, religious communities could be alienated, which can be disruptive in times that require rather unity of thought and action.