•  To allow participants to explore the themes of war, peace and reconciliation while living in a society currently recovering from recent wars, struggling for lasting peace, and attempting to fashion a post-war identity.

•  To engage in a collaborative investigation of these themes through studying relevant historical, literary, philosophical, socio-political and theological texts, and interacting with local and international scholars and practitioners. 

•  To examine the role of religion in local conflicts and enable participants to wrestle with the complexities of peacemaking through interreligious dialogue.

•  To broaden awareness about the sources of conflict—personal, structural and institutional—that contribute to violence, and to provide avenues for more concerted and thoughtful engagement with societal and political forces that dominate or emancipate their subjects.

•  To allow students and other participants to develop informed responses to interpersonal and societal conflict, and to provide a productive space for conversation and creative solutions to specific challenges and opportunities. 

Why [mission]

Our aim is to facilitate personal and societal transformation through the effective intellectual exploration of issues related to war, peace and reconciliation. We foster sustained and focused dialogue—among college students, academics and scholars, literary figures, artists and politicians, along with interested lay persons—that motivates creative responses to existing problems and provides productive space for developing relationships among individuals and groups divided by conflict and culture. 

How [methods]

The Center accomplishes this dialogue driven transformation by:

  1. hosting multidisciplinary semester and summer programs for American university students and university students from the Balkans 
  2. organizing events open to the public such as lectures, panels, conferences, exhibits and performances  
  3. collaborating with local and international organizations to develop meaningful points of interaction between ethnicities, cultures and religions in conflict

There are few places in Europe (perhaps the world) today, where questions of profound cultural, political and religious division are so emphatically dramatized and where visions of deep reconciliation are more urgently called for. The Balkans are a cradle of war and peace. Where the wound is, the remedy grows.

— Richard Kearney, Director of The Guestbook Project (Charles Seelig Chair of Philosophy at Boston College)