Daniela Dumbravă



Daniela Dumbrava foto modificata





Dr. Daniela Dumbravă

Ph.D. (University of Florence), Early Modern History

Actual affiliation: Vasile Pârvan Fellow and Member of the Romanian Academy in Rome (Italy)

Affiliate researcher c/o Institute for the History of Religions

Romanian Academy, Bucharest (Romania)


Web page:

[with an extended list of publications inside]





Professional experience:


1. 6th of January 2020 – present, Member of the Romanian Academy in Rome, Vasile Pârvan Fellow;


2. 1st September 2018 – present, Affiliate researcher c/o Romanian Institute for the History of Religions, Romanian Academy, Bucharest, Romania;


3. Post-Doc Researcher 01/06/2014 - Today (Full time) - Italy, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The main tasks of the present job were disjointed in due stages: the management of a private archive, the second research of the linguistic, historical and social data of the scientist Rosa Del Conte. In the first phase, my actions focused on prioritizing the digitization of archive information - i.e. magnetic tapes, documents, archive films on 8 mm film. In the second phase, I was involved in disseminating, communicating and publishing as widely as possible the importance of this archive. Thus, contacts with universities in Romania and Italy were not only fructified, but I delivered a series of conferences, informal and formal presentations with the students, published several articles and are currently preparing a monographic work. All these communication and research experiences have greatly enhanced my ability to create networks with the academic world and to popularize the first-hand information in the current archive of a specialized audience. The final attempt will be a monographic work: Ambivalenze ermeneutiche dell’«Isola di Euthanasius». Perché Rosa Del Conte sta dalla parte degli esuli romeni? [Il dossier storico-religioso dell’opera di Mihai Eminescu creatosi nel milieu dell’emigrazione romena], to be published at Vita & Pensiero Publisher, Milan (expected for late 2020). 


4. Temporary Researcher 02/02/2012 - 30/05/2014, (Full time) - Romania, Institute for the History of Religions. My primary role in this position was to consult and analyze first-hand archive material (Library of the Romanian Academy of Sciences and the National Council for Studying the Securitate Archives), to communicate it in different academic and media fields. I have had an intense publishing activity, both in the academic area and in the Romanian mainstream media. The most important result I managed to achieve in this period was to study carefully the consequences of the involvement of the repressive apparatus in Romania in the lives of historians of religions such as Mircea Eliade and Ioan Petru Culianu, as well as the monk Andrei Scrima, the brilliant theologian monk, member of the Burning Bush movement. After the period of teaching at the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the need to consult various specialized archives generated this long period of study, under the supervision and coordination of the Institute of History of Religions of the Academy of Sciences of Romania, to which I was a member for three years.


5. Post-Doc Researcher 07/07/2010 - 07/01/2012, (Full time), Romania, "Al. I. Cuza" University, Faculty of Informatics. “Nicolae Milescu’s Northern Asia. An e-encyclopedic, computational and GIS reconstruction” it was a team work humanistic project which enclosed ICT [Information and Communication technologies] and it was also planned for a research competition in Romania few years ago; the cutting founds determined the pending status of it. However, certain objectives have already been achieved together with a team of NLP [computational linguistics] specialists and with the logistics of the Faculty of Informatics, at the Al. I. Cuza, Iasi, as a post-doctoral project, and presented into CLARIN newsletter, no 11-12 (2010), September-December:

*CLARIN its primary goal is, “turn existing, fragmented technology and resources into accessible and stable services that any user can share or adapt and repurpose.” (Brian MacWhinney, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, USA). The team of the project was formed initially by IT students and coordinated by the best Artificial Intelligence and NLP experts from University of Iasi, namely prof. Dan Cristea and prof. Adrian Iftene. Major accomplishments of the project are linked to: Journey Reconstruction – reconstruction of the Nicolae Milescu’s Northern Asia virtually, by employing geo-information visual tools (ArcGIS), (semi)automated textual analyses – through computational linguistics and natural language processing (NLP) tools – and thus to integrate geographic information (GIS), cartographic and encyclopedic data; Map Visualization - digitalization all those maps which incorporate Milescu’s iter in Chinam; Comparative Analysis - undertake a comparative analysis of the early modern cartographic techniques involved in the drawing of those maps which incorporate iter in Chinam, and to correlate cartographical representation with Milescu’s historical corpus dedicated to Northern Asia.

Several other team projects to which I was belonging or project co-manager, were successfully presented to the public: 2010 (October), National Symposium, “Explorări in tradiţia biblică românească”, [together with Anamaria Ciucanu, Georgiana Cărăuşu], Gog & Magog, nota in marginea unei omologari biblice si geografice milesciene. Iter in Chinam, Nicolae Milescu (1675-1676): debutul unui proiect UAIC”, Iasi. (Romania); 2010 (December), National Workshop, Faculty of Computer Science, Al. I. Cuza University & Intelinvest Consulting, “Bring IT on!”, [together with Anamaria Ciucanu, Georgiana Cărăuşu], “Identifying Geographical Entities and Relations in Texts”, Iasi (Romania); 2011 (May), University Al. I. Cuza, Dep. of Science & Dep. of Humanities (Monumenta Linguae Dacoromanorum"), Lexicon Slavonicum, Contribution to 17th Century Slavonic Lexicography; Johan Gabriel Sparwenfeld & Nicolae Milescu: diplomacy made by literati, Iași (Romania), 2012 (17 March), Misiunea lui Nicolae Milescu în Asia Septentrională, 1675-1676. Laboratoare ale cercetării: erori, metodă, inovație, Facultatea de Istorie, UAIC, Iasi (Romania); 2012 (21-28 July), Nicolae Milescu’s Northern Asia. An e-encyclopaedic, computational & GIS reconstruction” (e-NMNA) [Project description], Hierarchy and Status in the Altaic World, 55th ANNUAL MEETING of the PIAC, the Babeş-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, The Institute of Turkology and Central Asian Studies, under the Patronage of The Romanian Academy, Cluj-Napoca, July 29 - August 3, 2012, Cluj-Napoca (Romania) ecc.


6. Post-Doc Researcher 09/01/2009 - 30/04/2009 (Full time) United Kingdom, Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Studies, London. Main achievements: Warburg Institute accepted me as East-European Andrew Mellon fellow after a huge competition and within three months I conducted a great documentation in the history of geography history in the 17th century, especially in the North Asian region. Also, one of the institutions I worked with was the Royal Geographical Society, reviewing John F. Baddley’s papers. My study period at Warburg Institute has substantially developed the methodology of my research. The polyglot translations of the Bible, made at the time of the Reformation, preceded a methodological extension since the sixteenth-century approach to biblical studies was based on the overall study of history, philosophy, archaeology and geography, converging subjects towards an antiquarian sacred history, no longer prevalently dogmatic. This methodological requirement tout court became the epistemological basis of a humanism homologated in the academic and intellectual environment of Europe and further South-East Europe, specifying that the latter was joined with the Constantinopolitan scholastic side for the same studies.


7. Post-Doc Researcher 02/10/2008 - 07/01/2009 (Full time) Italy, American Academy in Rome. The American Academy in Rome was one of the most important academic institutions where we could meet US researchers and artists. My research focused on the North Asian ethnography and religions in the 17th century. This argument was also perfectly compatible with an ICT program, considering the conjunction of the texts, traditions, doctrines and institutions sector with various innovative aspects of Catholic missions in the Far East and their consistent contribution in transforming innovation into an agent of transmission of the Catholic faith through the science, technologies and ecclesiastical strategies of the seventeenth century.


8. Post-Doc Researcher 05/11/2007 - 05/11/2009 (Full time) Italy, Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Pontificio Istituto Orientale (Rome). Main achievements: two courses were included in the Pontificio Istituto Orientale's teaching framework, both taught by me during the academic years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 [I. Elementi di antropologia cristiana e di teologia romena contemporanea/Christian Anthropology Elements & Contemporary Romanian Theology; II. Umanesimo e Sacra Scrittura nell’Europa sud-orientale (sec. XVII – XVIII)/ Humanism and Sacred Scripture in Southeast Europe (17th - 18th centuries)]; the organization of an international congress was also one of the tasks of this scholarship of the Romanian Foreign Ministry; I have had a very good collaboration with the Embassy of Romania near the Holy See all the while, succeeding to initiate the project of integration by the Romanian diplomatic services of a permanent Romanian language lecturer at Pontificio Istituto Orientale, which was accomplished in the academic year 2017.


9. Ph.D. 05/05/2003 - 30/11/2007 (Full time) Italy, Istituto Studi Umanistici - the University of Florence. I obtained a PhD con lode in Humanities at the Institute of Humanities at the University of Florence [today: Institute of Human and Social Sciences - Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa], having as tutor Professor Nicola Di Cosmo (Henry Luce Foundation Professor of East Asian History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton). The best result of my doctoral research is the proposal to publish in English my doctoral thesis, originally written in Italian: "The Diplomatic Mission of Nicolae Milescu in Northern Asia & at Qing Imperial Court, 1675-1676 (Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 8 Uralic & Central Asian Studies, E.J. Brill, Leiden, work in progress. A statement of my PhD research was enclosed into the letter of motivation, research statement, and proposal document.


10. MA (Sociology and Regional Community Development) 10/1999 - 07/2001 (University level education - Third stage), Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Bucharest – Romania. This MA has allowed me to acquire skills in the following disciplines: community ethnology, social policies from Romania from a comparative point of view, i. e. with other Eastern European states; moreover, elements of social statistics, Community law, information, communication and development, as well as regional development of Romania before its accession to the EU have been fundamental for this training. Laboratories and the practice of sociology and applied social anthropology and visual anthropology have been the complement to this MA.


11. BA (Theology & Social Sciences) 09/1995 - 07/1999 (4 years), Orthodox Theology- Social Sciences, Andrei Saguna, University of Sibiu, Romania. During the four-year period of my graduate courses, subjects were divided into two types of skills: social sciences and theology. The number of six-monthly examinations was approximately 13, thus giving rise to the above mentioned dual competence. Therefore, the program combined notions of theology with specific subjects in social sciences and, in fact, the methodology was mainly that of social sciences (sociology). At first glance, one could think of a mixture school curriculum, whereas this is not because the school sheet will show that in practice, in these four years, we have studied almost twice as many subjects as other university curricula.




·               2014 - Dep. of Modern History, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan (UCSC), Italy. (Temporary Research Associate)

·               2012-2014 Institute for the History of Religions, Romanian Academy. (Temporary Research Associate)

·               2010-2012 Dep. of Sciences, University Al. I. Cuza, Iași, Romania. (Temporary Research Associate, Faculty of Informatics)

·               2009–2010 Jr. Research & Lecturer Fellow, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome, Italy (Fellowship awarded by Romanian Ministry Foreign Affairs and Oriental Pontifical Institute, Rome)

·               Oct. 2008 – Feb. 2009, Mellon East-Central European Visiting Scholar American Academy in Rome, Italy

·                Feb. 2009 – May 2009, Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Studies, London, UK

·               2004–2007 Istituto Studi Umanistici, University of Florence, Italy Oct. 2007 Ph.D. con lode, Early Modern History

·               2001-2004 Student Fellow in Oriental Church History, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome, Italy [only 3 academic year courses years without the dissertation presented because I was admitted to the PhD, University of Florence]

·               2000-2001 (Hons.) M.A. in Social Sciences, University of Bucharest, Romania

·               1995–1999 (Hons.) Faculty of Theology, University of Sibiu, Romania



Positions of trust


               Started from 2015 – Member of the Italian Association for the Romanian Studies

               Started from 2014 – Member of the Italian Center for the Historical & Geographical Studies (Association of the CISGE)

               Started from 2008 – Member of the Italian Society for the History of Religions

               Started from 2004 – Member of the Romanian Association for the History of Religions


Membership of editorial board


               2009 – Studia Asiatica. International Journal for Asiatic Studies (associated editor)



Teaching experience:


Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome [2007-2008/2008-2009]

Course I. Christian Anthropology elements & Contemporary Romanian Theology

Short-presentation. In 1943 a Russian monk John Kuliygin, arrived from the monastery of Optina Pustyn' to the monastery Cernica (located in the outskirts of Bucharest), along with the Rostov Metropolitan, the latter arrived from a Soviet concentration camp. Inside the enclosure of the Antim monastery in Bucharest, in the 1940s, was the visibility of the convivial existence between monks and secular people in a single space, that of the "Burning Bush". Philochalic literature and the famous book, Russian Pilgrim were the sources of a hesychastic paideia for the members of the "Burning Bush" movement; various stories arises from the twenty century Romanian "Gulag" together with a discreet and subtle their theological production. The course offers a transversal reading of the personal history of the members of this group: Father Benedict Ghiuş, the staying of the monastic community of Antim, Sandu Tudor, or Father Daniel, Andrei Scrima, Vasile Voiculescu, Dumitru Staniloae, Ileana, the Princess of Romania and others and of the works related to Christian anthropology and contemporary Romanian theology.


Course II: Humanism and Sacred Scripture in Southeast Europe (17th - 18th centuries)

Short-presentation. This course aims to offer an excursus in that period in which various methods were applied to the history and biblical studies, focusing on methodological approaches of humanities in south-eastern Europe, especially between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Exposing the evolution of a civilization through an overall collection of vestiges from the past reflects in some way the varronian idea of antiquitates, reported by the historian Arnaldo Momigliano in his analysis of seventeenth-century and eighteenth-century humanism. Nevertheless, the polyglot translations of the Bible, made at the time of the Reformation, preceded a methodological extension since the sixteenth-century approach to biblical studies was based on the overall study of history, philosophy, archaeology and geography, converging subjects towards an antiquarian sacred history, no longer prevalently dogmatic. This methodological requirement tout court became the epistemological basis of a humanism homologated in the academic and intellectual environment of Europe and further South-East Europe, specifying that the latter was joined with the Constantinopolitan scholastic side for the same studies.


A joint activity to my courses delivered at the Pontificio Istituto Orientale at that moment, was also to organize the International Symposium “Andrei Scrima ed il linguaggio teologico contemporaneo”, Rome. (Italy), 2008 (October), together with Romanian Embassy to the Holy See, Accademia di Romania, Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Romanian Culture Institute. The Proceedings are to be published in late 2018 by the Orientalia Christiana Analecta Publisher, Rome [The scarcity of funds generated a long chronology for publishing the conference proceedings].


Daniela Dumbrava, ex-alumna of the Pontificio Istituto Orientale, she obtained a PhD con lode in Early modern history at the Institute of Humanities at the University of Florence [today: Institute of Human and Social Sciences - Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa]. She was both Mellon East-Central European Visiting Scholar American Academy in Rome and South-east European Andrew W. Mellon Fellow, Warburg Institute, School of Advanced Studies, London, United Kingdom. As Jr. Research & Lecturer Fellow at Pontificio Istituto Orientale, Rome, she delivered one seminar entitled: “Christian Anthropology elements & Contemporary Romanian Theology. Sources of a hesychastic paideia ontologically validated by members of the "Burning Bush" movement. Among her contributions dedicated to the work and ecclesiastical activity of André Scrima: La Rivelazione secondo Andrei Scrima, in La storia delle religioni e la sfida dei pluralismi, ed. Renata Salvarani, Marianna Ferrara, Quaderno di Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni nr. 18. Supplemento al n. 83 (1/2017) di Studi e Materiali di Storia delle Religioni, Brescia 2017, 568-580, ISBN 978-88-372-3135-4; Theology and History of Religions in the Middle East. A Brief Account: Fr. André Scrima, spiritual and pace mediator in Libanon (1970-1980), in Religion in the History of European Culture. Proceedings of the 9th EASR Conference and IAHR Special Conference, 14-17 September 2009, Messina [Biblioteca dell'Officina di Studi Medievali 16. 1/2], edited by G. Sfameni Gasparro - A. Cosentino - M. Monaca, Palermo 2013, 597-610, ISBN: 9788864850504.