This program will examine the dynamics of conflict and the challenges involved in bringing about reconciliation among groups divided by distrust and enmity. We will study these themes in one of Europe’s oldest conflict zones—at the crossroads between the political and religious systems of the east and west (Islam and Christianity, Ottoman and European Monarchies, Communism and Capitalism)—where local conflicts reflect and engender conflicts among world powers. Studying course themes in Croatia and surrounding countries and meeting and conversing with war survivors, and political, religious, and intellectual figures, will allow these issues to become palpable and urgent to students. This, in turn, will allow students to examine tendencies to exclusion and violence in their own lives, and to develop hospitable practices and attitudes that lead to peace.
Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, has a vibrant and inviting intellectual and artistic culture, with many seasonal festivals, theaters, music clubs, museums and libraries. It is a city in which walking, biking or taking a tram is a preferred form of transportation, the open market is a preferred way of shopping, and sitting in the outdoor cafes is a favorite pastime. Students have found that Zagreb is a city in which one quickly feels at home.
Founded in 1094, Zagreb has a long history at the margins of Europe. Its architecture betrays its past as a Central European city under the rule of the Habsburgs. Its buildings show all the trends of 18th, 19th, and 20th-century European architecture—with its Neo-Gothic cathedral, its Neo-Baroque National theatre and a string of parks and promenades laced with cafes.
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina and an ancient regional center. Its Ottoman past is apparent in the charming Turkish Market (Bascarsija) and predominant Moslem population. Sarajevo has a rich history and until recently was known in the region for its diversity of ethnicities and religions. Although it was under siege for four years (between ’92 and ’96), Sarajevo is a welcoming city known for its warmth and hospitality.
Vis is an island off of the coast of Croatia, in the Adriatic Sea. With a crystal sea, beautiful beaches, and ancient stone villages, it serves as an ideal location for studying, reflecting, and enjoying the Mediterranean.
ACADEMICS (SUMMER 2018)
Students are required to take the following two courses:
PHIL 3998 Narrative and Identity
Taught by LMU Professor Brian Treanor
Core Requirements: Interdisciplinary Connections, Writing Flag and Oral Skills Flag
The course on Narrative and Identity will look as the ways in which narratives structure both individual and personal identity. For example, the way a person's individual "life story" is lived in light of a wider group narrative-social, religious, national, and so on--in which they also participate. Special attention will be given to the opportunities and challenges associated with attempting to transcend one's narrative, particularly in the case of opening oneself to "the other," as happens in instances of peacebuilding, hospitality, and reconciliation in the wake of conflict.
PHIL 3998 War and Peace: Philosophical and Theological Perspectives
Taught by Dr. James Taylor and Dr. Petra Taylor
Core Requirements: Faith and Reason and Engaged Learning Flag
The War and Peace course examines the prospect of overcoming conflict--particularly religiously motivated conflict--in creative ways that promote justice, diffuse enmity and engender reconciliation. It examines conflict at the geopolitical. societal, interpersonal and spiritual levels, and proposes that enmity may be overcome through the hospitable exchange of narratives between estranged groups. The War and Peace course also introduces students to the Balkans by examining its many conflicts through history and literature.
HOUSING AND MEALS
Students will be housed in two and three bedroom apartments in Zagreb and Vis (with four to six students per apartment). In Sarajevo and Mostar, students will be housed in boutique family hotels. The program fee covers three meals a day for most days. Students should plan to cover any additional meals and meals on days off (about three days worth). Student apartments have kitchens and cooking utensils.
Our journey will take us through various locales in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina: from Sarajevo, (a beautiful ottoman city under violent siege for four years in the 90’s) through Mostar (a city divided along ethnic and religious lines) through city of Split (built around Roman Emperor Diocletian’s palace) on the southern Croatian coast, to an island in the Adriatic Sea (Vis), and finally to Zagreb (the capital of Croatia). Throughout our sojourn, we will speak with war survivors, politicians, religious and peace practitioners, public intellectuals and artists, who will help us to understand the past and confront the challenges of the present. We will visit historic sites dating from Greco-Roman, to medieval to contemporary periods that bear traces of the Balkans as a historic crossroads between east and west. We will attend concerts, shows, participate in religious services and meet with Catholic, Orthodox, Moslem, and Jewish religious communities, swim in the pristine Adriatic sea, enjoy diverse local foods and learn about the intricacies of community life in this diverse area.
All excursions included as part of the program are mandatory for program participants.
- Arrive in Sarajevo and stay for about 5 days
- Travel through Mostar and Split to arrive on the Island of Vis and stay for about 10 days
- Travel to Zagreb and stay for the remaining about 15 days
PROGRAM TUITION AND FEES
Summer Program Costs (click here