Warja Tolstoj

Warja Tolstoj

History, anthropology, philosophy, archaeology, religious and classical studies… 

All of these disciplines within the Humanities deal, to a greater or lesser extent, with the human interaction with objects. This interdisciplinary aspect of the study of the object was what lured Warja into making a drastic career switch in 2015. After working at sea for nine years in shipping and offshore, she started a Bachelor in Art History at Leiden University. 

Her main interests lie in the field of material religion: why and how have people – since time immemorial – perceived inanimate objects as carriers of the divine? Currently she is working on her Research Master’s thesis on the Christian appropriation of Roman heritage and the production of the sacred in Early Modern Rome. 

Warja is also the editor-in-chief of Roma Aeterna, a semiannual, interdisciplinary and diachronic journal about Rome, that tries to bring as many facets of the Eternal City as possible to a broad audience in The Netherlands. 

Originally from Russia, Warja grew up in the Protestant East of The Netherlands. Living in between two different cultures, she has always been fascinated with religious topics, which she discussed with her mother, a professor of Theology at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam.