26 January 2009
This site hosts an international academic exchange in the field of Balkan religious studies, to allow a network of scholars based in or otherwise concerned with the region to discuss and showcase their work.
The site was initiated by a group of researchers participating in the "Religion and Nationalism in the Western Balkans" project at the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo (Norway). In the period 2004–2007, the project received funding from the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The aim is to assist the building of international scholarly cooperation in and about the region; and in particular, to help regionally based researchers reach a wider audience.
As a first step, a small seminar on "Religious Pluralism" was held in Kotor in March 2004, gathering some 20 scholars from Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina, Macedonia, Serbia-Montenegro, and Norway. It was followed by network conferences on "Religion and Pluralism in Education" (2005), "Images of the Religious Other" (2006), and "New Religious Minorities" (2007). The 2005 and 2006 conferences were starting points for research collaborations that have produced two books, Religion and Pluralism in Education and Images of the Religious Other.
This site is primarily intended to assist the 'Kotor network' in developing its further cooperation, including:
The project has focused on the 'Western Balkans', in particular Albania, Bosnia, Macedonia, and Serbia-Montenegro/Kosovo. The role of religion as an ingredient in the region's recent conflicts, and as a possible resource in conflict resolution, has been an important concern.
The project manager in the 2004–2007 period was Professor Anne Stensvold, and the network co-ordinator was Christian Moe, both from the University of Oslo. The names of the other participants in the network can be found under 'affiliates'.
Due to a funding shortfall, the Kotor Network has soo far not launched new projects since 2007. However, it remains a channel of communication and recruitment of partners for projects initiated by others.
This site is maintained by Christian Moe.