Dr Areti Demosthenous, Director
2047 Nicosia, Cyprus


  1. Director of the Institute of Historical Research for Peace (, Nicosia, Cyprus
  2. Member of the International Association for Intercultural Education (IAIE)
  3. Visiting Research Fellow of the S. Harry Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem
  4. Visiting Fellow of the Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Advanced Study (JNIAS), New Delhi, India
  5. Visiting Scholar at the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Oriental Studies
  6. Adviser to the “Peace Task Force and Intercultural Understanding”, a committee of the International Business Professional Women Association (BPW)
  7. Founding Member of the World Forum of Religions and Cultures (Nicosia-Athens) and of the International Association for the Promotion of Women of Europe, Branch: Cyprus (AIPFE)
  8. National Representative of Cyprus at the International Association of the Studies for Southeast Europe (AIESEE) and Member of the Bureau of Bi-communal Reconciliation and Strengthening of Civil Society in Cyprus
  9. Member of the Association for the Prevention and Handling of Domestic Violence, Nicosia and of the Cyprus Academic Forum (CAF)
  10. She has directed over ten competitive international projects
  11. She is external reviewer for four international scientific journals
  12. 2006 she was awarded the first Prize for Professionalism, granted by the Business Professional Women Association (BPW)

She teaches Comparative Religious Family Law focus on Islamic Law and Sociology of Religion as well as Intercultural Studies with regard to religious difference. She uses Religious Law and Culture as anthropological tools in order to understand social and political developments. Her lectures on Peace Studies and Intercultural Education aim to enable students understand how to use cultural differences in order to find out the common heritage of people coming together. Learning about the Other is a factor promoting financial development, because people can be productive and collaborative when they know each other or at least when they are not afraid of one another. Cultural comparative knowledge is sine qua non in our globalized society. Areti Demosthenous is a trainer of educators in formal and non-formal education. She regards as “duty of all” to support young leaders co-exist peacefully with others under the slogan “the neighbor might be a friend – not an enemy, if we try to get to know him”. In addition, she organizes seminars and summer schools aiming at Intercultural Education of graduate students.

Professional Experience

She has worked or been invited in the following Universities: Shandong University, The Center for Judaic and Inter-Religious Studies, Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology, Jinan, China

  1. University of Athens, Faculty of Theology, teaching Interdisciplinary MA courses
  2. The City University of New York, Department of English, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
  3. University of Haifa, Israel, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Greek and Multidisciplinary Studies
  4. Bogazici University (Turkey), Department of Sociology
  5. University of Munich, Institute for History of Southeast Europe and Turcology, Faculty of Philosophy
  6. University of Erfurt, Faculty of Philosophy. University of Cyprus (Department of Turkish and Middle Eastern Studies, Department of Social and Political Sciences)

Major Academic Interests

Intercultural Influences with regard to Religious Law and Peace Process. Comparative Religious Law. Islamic Influences on modern Legislation. Intercultural Education based on Religious Difference. Intermarriages between Muslims and Christians.


  1. Research in Comparative Religion, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, invited by DAAD, Munich (1999-2000).
  2. Postdoctoral Research in the Ottoman History of Cyprus, Archive of the Archbishopric’s Palace in Nicosia (1997-1999).
  3. Ph.D Theol., University of Athens, in Muslim and International Comparative Religious Law (Summa cum Laude), 1996.
  4. Post Graduate Studies in Comparative International Law, History and Sociology of Religion, History of Southeast Europe and Turcology, Univ. of Munich (1990 – 1996).
  5. Post graduate Studies in Canon Law and Comparative Religious Law (Univ. of Munich, Faculty of Law and Institute for Licentiat Juris Canonici), 1987 – 1990.
  6. Basic Studies in Social Theology, Univ. of Athens (Summa Cum Laude) 1982 – 1986.

She was an IKY Scholar (National Foundation of State Scholarships in Greece) for her undergraduate studies at Athens University. Later she gained a scholarship by the Bavarian Ministry of Culture for her postgraduate studies at LMU in Munich. She has got a fellowship award from DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) for her post doctoral research.


  1. Women and Islam. Divorce and Mixed Marriages. Athens: AKRITAS publications, 2005, 464 pages (in Greek)
    It is an interesting book introducing in detail problems arising from inter-marriages between Muslims and followers of other religions in International Family Law. Mainly it is written in Greek though basic results of the research and conclusions are presented in English at the end. In this endeavour priority is given to intercultural knowledge which may enable young people co-exist peacefully with others under the slogan “the neighbor might be a friend – not an enemy, if we try to get to know him.” (Keywords: Muslims, Divorce, Mixed Marriages, peaceful coexistence, Women in Islam.)
    PDF Download the book “Women and Islam” (in Greek, PDF 51 MB)
  2. “Religious Education as a location for encountering Pluralism and for developing Identity”, in: Religious Diversity at School. Educating for New Pluralistic Contexts. Wiener Beiträge zur Islamforschung. E. Aslan and M. Hermansen (eds.), Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2021, 177-195, Austria.
  3. “Women of Orthodox Faith in Cyprus amid Historical Transitions”, Journal of Balkan and Black Sea Studies, 2019, Year 2, Issue3, December, 129-160.
  4. Jews and Muslims in Cyprus: Positive aspects of Coexistence”, in: Jewish-Muslim Relations, Wiener Beiträge zur Islamforschung, E. Aslan and M. Rausch (eds.), Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden, 2019, 177-198.
  5. «Christian Refugees from Parla village (Isparta) and their Intercultural Contribution to Modern Greece», στον τόμο in Ηonorem Răzvan Theodorescu,  Institute of Art History „George Oprescu” of the Romanian Academy of Sciences, Bucuresti 2019, 103-110. Αποτέλεσμα της ανακοίνωσης στο International Conference on South-East Europe and the Great War: History, Memory, Legacy. Organized by the Institute of Balkan Studies of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the International Association for Studies of South-East Europe (A.I.E.S.E.E.), 7-8 December 2017, Belgrade, Serbia.
  6. “Cyprus: National Identity and Images of Self and Others in History Textbooks”, in: Multiple Alterities. Views of Others in Textbooks of the Middle East.  Elie Podeh & Samira Alayan (eds), Palgrave Studies in Educational Media, Switzerland: Palgrave MacMillan. Springer International Publishing, 2018, 253-280.
  7. “Ο άνθρωπος στον Χριστιανισμό και τις άλλες Θρησκείες», στο: Συμ-Βολή, e-Journal της Ιεράς Μητροπόλεως Κυρηνείας, 2017, αρ. 4, 24-49.
  8. «Challenges to Ethnos (έθνος) in a Global Society”, in: Colloquia Humanistica 5, Nation. “Natsiya”. Ethnie. Institute of Slavic Studies, Polish Academy of Sciences, 2016, 104-126. 
  9. “Commerce means Stability: Russian Investments in Turkey and the Images of Turks and Russians”, in: “The Image(s) of South-Eastern and East-Central Europe throughout History”, Association internationale du Sud-Est Européen, a Revue, 40-44 (2014), Bucarest, 393-410.
  10. “The Maronites of Cyprus: From Ethnicism to Transnationalism”, in: GAMER/JCSES (Journal of the Centre for Southeast European Studies), Ankara University, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2012), 61-72
  11. “Women’s Initiatives for Peace and Reconciliation in Cyprus”, in: Dialogue and Alliance, A Journal of the Universal Peace Federation, Issue Themes: Women of Faith and Peacebuilding, Vol.25, No.1, 2011, 71-80
  12. “Religion et politique dans le système éducatif à Chypre”, in: L’ Homme et son Environnement dans le Sud-Est Européen, Actes du Xème congrès de l’Association internationale du Sud-Est européen (AIESEE), Paris, 24-26 septembre 2009, Paris: Éditions de l’Association Pierre Belon, 2011, 325-330
  13. “De la coexistence à la division: comment Chypre devient une société divisée culturellement”, in: Études Balkaniques, Recherches interdisciplinaires sur les mondes hellénique et balkanique, La culture ottomane dans les Balkans, Cahiers Pierre Belon 16-2009, Paris: Association Pierre Belon, 2010, 33-44
  14. “From Multiculturalism to Interculturalism: Islamic and Christian Guidelines”, Poreia Martyrias, A volume in memory of the Pope and Patriarch of Alexandreia and whole Africa Petrou VII’, Athens: Scripta 2010, 175-187 (in Greek)
  15. “Rechtskollisionen bei der Auflösung von Mischehen zwischen Muslimen und Andersgläubigen”, Der Islam 76, (1999) 2, 313-333.
  16. “The Potential of Peaceful Coexistence Among the Cypriot Communities in the New Millenium”, Études et Documents Balkaniques et Méditerranéens 24, Paris (2001), 3-16
  17. “Toward a Socio-Legal Acceptance of Muslim-Christian Marriages in Cyprus”, INTAMS Review (Journal for the study of marriage and spirituality), published by the International Academy for Marital Spirituality, Vol. 13, Issue 1, 2007, 93-102
  18. “Divided Cultures or Divided Societies? The case of Cyprus”, Identities: Journal for Politics, Gender and Culture, Vol. 6, No. 1 (12/2007), 165-184
  19. “The Importance of Coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Cyprus for the Current Political Developments”, Association International d’’Etudes du Sud-Est Européen, Revue, Vol. 35-39 (2005-09), Bucuresti 2009, 33-43
  20. “Socio-Legal Status of the Muslim Woman in Northern Greece”, Bulletin of the Association Internationale d’Études du Sud-Est Européen, 31 (2001), 39-53
  21. “Reconstruction through Multicultural Education”, Executive Intelligence Review, Vol. 30, Nr.18 (May 2003), 60-62
  22. «The Role of the Orthodox Church in Coexistence and Reconciliation between Turkish- and Greek-Cypriots in Cyprus», in: Orthodoxes Forum 20 (2006). Vol. 1, 53-62
  23. “Modern Problems regarding Religion and Fanaticism. An Interreligious Approach”, Kypriake Martyria XXII (2003), 120-123 (in Greek)
  24. “Mixed Marriages according to Muslim Law: The Contract, the Dissolution and the Conflict of Laws”, Epetheorisi Kypriakou Dikaiou, vol. 53-56, 1996, 7977-8025 (in Greek)
  25. “Problems which arise from the Dissolution of Mixed Marriages between Christians and Muslims”, Apostolos Varnavas 57 (September 1996) 9, 376-382 (in Greek)
  26. “Mixed Marriages between Muslims and Christians in Cyprus”, Apostolos Varnavas 56 (May 1995) 5, 205-210 (in Greek)
  27. “The Status of Women in Muslim Family”, Apostolos Varnavas 56 (October-November 1995) 10-11, 399-404 (in Greek)
  28. “The Christian Wife in the Muslim Country of her Husband”, Apostolos Varnavas 57(March 1996) 3, 116-123 (in Greek)
  29. “The administration of Marriage Sacrament in the Law of Latin Church and the Character of Marriage Contract under Muslim Law”, Apostolos Varnavas 58 (February 1997) 2, 76-87 (in Greek).
  30. “Modernization Trends in the Law of Latin Church – Conservative Fundamentalist Trends in the Law of Muslim Countries”, Apostolos Varnavas 59 (April 1998) 4, 158-172 (in Greek)
  31. “Historical Thinking and Comparative Religious Studies Promote Peaceful Co-existence in the Middle East”, United Nations International Meeting in Support of Middle East Peace, Nicosia, April 16-17, 2002, published in the volume of the Meeting, 17-19
  32. “Symbiosis of Different Religions through the Education System”, published in the proceedings of the International Conference “Citizenship, Multiculturalism, Cosmopolitanism”, organized by the University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 3-4 November 2007, 626-635
  33. “Cultural Objectives of the Conference of European Churches in a Global World”, in the Report of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) Future Conference, Valpré, Lyon, 10th-12th September 2008, 16-19.
  34. “The Meaning of Pain and Death in Islam and the Asian Religions”, in “Pain Relief and Help”, Conference organized by the National Committee on Bioethics and the Pancypriot Medical Association, Nicosia, January 12, 2008 published in Cyprus Government, National Committee on Bioethics, 19-22.
Key words
Intercultural influences, religious Law, Peace process, Comparative Religious Law, Islamic influences, Intercultural Education, Religious Difference, Religious education, Peace Education, Mixed Marriages.