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Faith and Foreign Policy Summer School wraps up first week

Prishtina, 12 August 2013 - The Summer Programme “Faith and Foreign Policy: Investigating the role of religion in Conflict and Post-conflict transformations”, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, the University of Prishtina, and implemented by the Balkan Institute, has wrapped up its first week.

After the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Enver Hoxhaj, opened the course, Dr. Ivo Banac, Dr. Obrad Savic and Ambassador Zamir Akram have lectured the students on diverse issues. Dr. Banac has given the students a deep understanding of the history of religion within the Balkan region, focusing on the changing natures of the Christian, Orthodox and Muslim states. His course has been complemented by Dr. Savic’s and Ambassador Akram’s courses on the importance of religion within state-building, with Dr. Savic addressing the theoretical issues and Ambassador Akram speaking on the practical issues surrounding religion in foreign policy and conflict resolution.

Dr. Banac, said about the conference: “what we are discussing here, in Prishtina at this particular conference, is not just aspects of religion in the Balkans, but how these various traditions can contribute to reconciliation that perhaps is not possible through secular means.”

This weekend the students had a field trip to Racak and Prizren. In Racak they visited the Memorial Museum, before travelling to Prizren where they visited the League of Prizren and many of the city’s key religious sites including the Sinan Pasha Mosque and the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour.

Professor Miroslav Volf joins Dr. Banac in lecturing the students this week. Prof. Volf is the Henry B. Wright Professor of Systematic Theology at Yale University, and is the founding director of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture. He will teach a course entitled Religion, Conflict and Reconciliation in the Global Context.

For more information on the Program, please check the website www.interfaithkosovo.org , or follow @InterfaithRKS on twitter using #Interfaith #Kosovo.

Or contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press Office on: artan.behrami@rks-gov.net, drilon.zogaj@rks-gov.net.

Media bids for any aspect of the Foundation's work should be directed to: mediabids@tonyblairfaithfoundation.org.