Katya Tolstaya (official name: Tolstoj) is Chair of Theology and Religion in Post-Trauma Societies and Vice-dean and Dean of Research at the Faculty of Religion and Theology (FRT), Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. Tolstaya is the founding Director of the Institute for the Academic Study of Eastern Christianity (INaSEC) at FRT and the Founding President of the International Association for Post-Soviet Theology and Study of Religion (PAST). Her main interest in research and valorisations is to establish the new field of an interdisciplinary and interreligious post-Soviet theology within the interdisciplinary landscape/scope of post-traumatic, post-totalitarian and post-genocidal studies. Her project Theology after Gulag is the first phase of this endeavour. Tolstaya has created a global network to support her in this ambition. Tolstaya obtained her MA (cum laude, 2000) and her PhD (cum laude, 2006) both at the Protestant Theological University (PThU), Kampen, The Netherlands.
Tolstaya is successful in fundraising and was, for example, a laureate of a prestigious NWO VENI Talent Scheme Innovational Research Incentives Humanities (2009-2012). As a Visiting Professor, she teaches in different post-Soviet countries, e.g. at Lev N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University, Astana, Kazakhstan, and the Ukrainian Catholic University, Lviv, Ukraine. She was Visiting Researcher at the Karl Barth-Archiv, Basel (2009) and recently Visiting Fellow at Aleksanteri Institute, Finnish Centre of Excellence in Russian Studies, University of Helsinki (May-July 2017).