Andreas Önver Cetrez

Universitetslektor i religionspsykologi vid Teologiska institutionen, Empirisk-praktiska studier av religion och teologi

018-471 2683
Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3 B
Box 511
751 20 UPPSALA

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I work as senior lecturer in Psychology of Religion, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University. During 2014-2016 I worked as deputy director at the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2005 I defended my doctoral dissertation at the Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University, focusing on identity and ritualization among Assyrian youth and adults in Sweden. I have coordinated a master program in Religion, Peace, and Conflict.

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Akademiska meriter: TD

Nyckelord: quantitative methods psychology religion qualitative methods vulnerable immigrant groups youth and marginality migration

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Uppsala University, Department of Religious Studies, Program in Psychology of Religion, Sweden

(2005) Ph.D. in Psychology of Religion and Cultural Psychology

Dissertation title: Meaning-Making Variations in Acculturation and Ritualization: A multi-generational study of Suroyo migrants in Sweden

Supervisors: Professors Valerie DeMarinis, Uppsala University, and Anthony J. Marsella, University of Hawaii

Current and Previous Employment and Projects (of academic interest only)

(June 2009 - ) Senior Lecturer, Psychology of Religion, Uppsala University

(September 2014 – August 2016) Deputy Director, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, Turkey


In my research I have primarily used the disciplines of psychology of religion, cultural psychology, and ritual studies. My scientific activity so far has been to contribute both empirically as well as theoretically to topics related to ethnic and religious identity, meaning-making, ritualization, acculturation, religion and conflict studies, refugee health and acculturation, in all cases most strongly in relation to migration populations in postmodern and secularized societies.

Since my disputation I have published several articles in journals, chapters in anthologies, and own edited books, related to the following themes:

  • Religion, identity, and youth
  • Value studies, youth, and media
  • Psychology of religion in peace and conflict
  • Genocide and generational trauma
  • Refugee psychosocial health
  • Religion, coping, and culture
  • Methodology
  • Evaluation research and cultural analysis


During 2014-2016 I have been working as the Deputy Director for the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul (SRII), Turkey. My responsibilities have been to edit the two journal series of the SRII, Transactions and Papers. Transactions is a blinded peer reviewed series. Other responsibilities have been to organize conferences, workshops, seminars, lectures, the summer school, as well as to inform the Scandinavian academics about the work of the institute.

During 2014-2016 I was leading the research project Mental health Pilot Study for Assyrian Christian Refugees from Syria living in Istanbul, financed through The Impact of Religion – Challenges for Society, Law, and Democracy. The research group consists of a team of 2 psychologists of religion, 1 research assistant, 1 doctoral student, and myself.

During 2010-2013 I have been leading the research project Gilgamesh Mental health, meaning-seeking, and integration processes among Iraqi refugees in Södertälje, Stockholm, and Uppsala, financed by the Swedish Research Council. The research group consisted of a team of 2 psychiatrists, 1 psychologist of religion, 1 research assistant, and myself. Leading a project as this requires skills for planning, administering, as well as conducting research.

As a senior lecturer at the Department of Religious Sciences, Uppsala University, I am, together with Professor Valerie DeMarinis, also responsible for the research seminars in psychology of religion as well as advising doctoral and postgraduate students.

After a period of coordinating the master programme Religion in Conflict and Reconciliation, between 2007-2008, I passed over the coordinating role, due to reasons of own research projects I received. I have previously coordinated two EU financed projects at Uppsala University. For the first one, a master programme in Religion in Conflict and Reconciliation (ReCor), I was the coordinator from its start. The programme was a Socrates financed programme in cooperation with partners from Münster University, Germany, Irish School of Ecumenics, Ireland, Life and Peace Institute, Sweden, and Sigtunastiftelsen, Sweden. For the second one, Thematic Network Project “Teaching Religion in a multicultural European Society” (TRES), I was asked to take the coordinating responsibility until Professor Kajsa Ahlstrand could take over the position.

From 2008-2013 I was coordinating the seminars for the Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul – The Research Colleague, first together with Ph.D. Helena Bani-Shoraka and later with Ph.D. Helena Bodin. These seminars have taken place in Stockholm covering up to date and innovative research topics.


I have been presenting my research work at several international and national conferences, both within my own disciplines (psychology of religion and cultural psychology), but also within closely related disciplines (sociology and youth research). Up till now I have applied for and had my papers accepted for presentation at 20 conferences and workshops. For four of the conferences I have been the panel organizer and chair.


I have lectured in more than 108 courses on undergraduate (A, B, C levels in the Swedish system) as well as graduate levels (D, E levels in the Swedish system), in the following areas:

  • Program courses in psychology of religion from A, through B, C, D up to E (Swedish system) level as well as PhD courses
  • Paper thesis courses on C, D, and E levels
  • Courses on qualitative and quantitative methods D level
  • Independent non program courses, such as Inter-cultural encounters, Inter-religious encounters, Cultural Meetings, A continuing education for Rikspolisen (Swedish Police Service) on Religion, Culture, Resistance, and Terrorism
  • Courses in the master programme Religion in Conflict and Reconciliation
  • Several Internet courses (distance learning) on A, B, C, and D levels in religious studies

The courses I have been involved in represent all the different levels within the programme of Religious Sciences. There have been courses both in Swedish and English, as well as on campus and distance learning.


I am currently primary advisor for one doctoral student and assistant advisor for two doctoral students.


When planning research as well as when given different lectures, I have found the relation to the surrounding society as very important. This is shown by research projects I have initiated or been part of and which have had a close link to the surrounding society, such as:

  1. “Qnushyo” – A refugee centre in Istanbul. While conducting research among Syrian refugees in Istanbul during 2014-2016, together with local refugees and people in Turkey, I started a centre for daily activities among refugee children and adults. The centre organized pre-school activities for the children and language courses and relaxation activities for the adults. See more at:

  2. Uppsala University Innovation ( fosters collaboration between Uppsala University and the surrounding society partly by supporting research collaborations between the university and the society, and partly by supporting the development and commercialization of ideas from research at Uppsala University. As part of this development I was financed by the Uppsala University Holding to commercialize my research on ethnic studies. Further, my project, Gilgamesh: Mental health, meaning-making, and integration, financed by the Swedish Research Council, was chosen as one of the first projects within social sciences for further seminar activities. Uppsala University Innovation employed a part time employee to work with this, through the concept AIMday.
  3. Evaluation of a diversity and gender equality programme, called Real Diversity, organized by Landsrådet för Sveriges Ungdomsorganisationer (LSU) [The National Council of Swedish Youth Organisations], in cooperation with Skandia, Föreningssparbanken, and Integrationsverket, during 2002 – 2005. The project resulted in nine different reports and was financed by the Swedish European Social Fund (ESF).
  4. Evaluation of a programme for Syriac Orthodox education, at Hagabergs Folkhögskola (Hagaberg’s Community College), Stockholm, Sweden, in 2005-2006.

Latest projects:


Research on the role of religion as coping and resilience among Syrian refugees in transit, Istanbul, Turkey, during 2014-2016. Method: A mixed-method study. Financed through Impact of Religion.


Research on refugee resilience, health, and integration, in Södertälje and Uppsala, during 2010-2013. Financed through VR.

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Andreas Önver Cetrez
Senast uppdaterad: 2021-03-09