Getting to Reconciliation: A Comparative Perspective
Sarajevo, 15-16 September 2022

Getting to Reconciliation: A Comparative Perspective

Sarajevo, 15-16 September 2022




Dr. Ahmet Alibasic is Deputy Dean for Academic affairs at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, University of Sarajevo. He was educated mainly in Malaysia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Currently he is Associate Professor teaching Islamic culture and civilization courses at University of Sarajevo. He has authored a book on Islamic opposition in the Arab world and written several articles and edited books dealing with Islam in Europe, human rights in Islam and Muslim world, church-state relations, radicalization, and Inter-religious Dialogue. Most recently he is one of the editors of Yearbook of Muslims in Europe (Brill, 2009-2021) and Journal of Muslims in Europe. Dr. Alibašić has participated several times in the Building Bridges Seminar. Since 2019 he is an observing member of the Reference Group and Theological Study Group of Pilgrimage of Justice and Peace program at the World Council of Churches.

Giancarlo Bosetti is the Executive Chair and one of the founders of Reset DOC and Reset, a cultural magazine he founded in 1993. He was vice-editor-in-chief of the Italian daily L’Unità. He is the editor-in-chief of the web-magazine of He is currently contributing to the Italian daily La Repubblica and he has been teaching sociology of communication at University La Sapienza and University Roma Tre. He published La lezione di questo secolo, a book-interview with Karl Popper; Cattiva maestra televisione (ed.), writings by Karl Popper and others. Among his other books: Spin. Trucchi e Tele-imbrogli della Politica, Marsilio, 2007; Il fallimento dei laici furiosi (2009); La verità degli altri. La scoperta del pluralismo in dieci storie, Bollati Boringhieri, 2020.

Petar Bojanić is professor of philosophy at Institute for Philosophy and Social Theory (University of Belgrade) and director of the Center for Advanced Studies – South East Europe (University of Rijeka), where he also teaches at the doctoral studies in the department of Philosophy. He also directs the Center for Ethics, Law and Applied Philosophy (CELAP) in Belgrade. He has published numerous books, his book Violence and Messianism has been published and translated into eight languages. His last book In-statuere. Figures of Institutional Building is published this year by Vittorio Klostermann (Germany).

Carolyn Boyd Tomasović was born and educated in Glasgow, but has been living and working in Croatia for thirty years. An academically trained artist, she first traveled to the region via a British Council scholarship to the Academy of Fine Art in Zagreb in 1989. After returning in 1992 to visit friends, the war disrupted travel and she remained volunteering with numerous aid agencies and churches. Her professional life has taken many diverse turns from artist to the UN military peacekeeping forces serving in ex-Yugoslavia to field consultant for the World Council of Churches for whom she managed two regional funds for 15 years related to the support of women victims of war and the other in developing ecumenical cooperation in S.E. Europe. She has lived and worked in the region throughout the wars where, among a variety of activities, she cooperated with the Conference of European Churches in facilitating the inter-religious roundtables for ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Since 2008, she has been the Director of the Ecumenical Women’s Initiative, a Croatian women’s fund active in six countries of the region, supporting grassroots women’s peace activism within an interfaith framework.

Marta Craveri is the head of the Research and International Department of the Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme. Historian specializing in Soviet forced labor, she defended her thesis at the European University Institute of Fiesole (Italy), on forms of resistance in the post-war Soviet concentration camp universe. His latest work, Enfants du Goulag, co-written with Anne-Marie Losonczy, deals with the specificity of the childhood experience in deportation and its legacy.

Simone Disegni serves as the editorial coordinator at Reset DOC. A journalist and EU affairs expert, he previously worked for a number of Italian and international media, including La Stampa, Corriere della Sera, Reuters and Cnbc. The winner of the R. Landucci award (2018) as Italy’s most promising under-35 political journalist, he previously served in a number of civil society endeavours, including the Think Young think tank in Brussels, and the Biennale Democrazia festival in Turin, as well as an EU affairs and funding consultant. His academic background is in International Relations and European Studies, with degrees from the University of Turin, Sciences Po Paris and the ULB Institute for European Studies.

Pasquale Ferrara, a career diplomat, is the General Director for Political Affairs and International Security at the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
After joining the Italian Foreign Service in 1984, he served first at the Cabinet of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and later at the Office of the Diplomatic Advisor to the President of the Republic. He served in several overseas assignments: Santiago, Chile (from 1989 to 1992, in the aftermath of Pinochet’s dictatorship) Athens, Greece (1992-1996, as Consul of Italy), Brussels (1999-2002 at Italy’s Permanent Mission to the European Union, participating in the IGC on EU Treaties reform and later in the European Constitutional Convention), Washington (2002-2006 as political counselor). He was spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from July 2006 to January 2009, and Head of the Policy Planning Unit of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs from February 2009 to June 2011. From 2011 to 2016, he was appointed Secretary General of the European University Institute in Florence. He has been Ambassador of Italy to Algeria from 2016 to 2020. During the first semester of 2021, he acted as the Italian Special Envoy for Libya. For many years, he has combined his professional background as a diplomat with academic activities and research on the theory of international relations. From 1981 to 1994, he collaborated with the Chair of History of Political Thought at the University “Federico II” in Naples, Italy. From 1989 to 1992, he was visiting professor at the Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales (FLACSO) in Santiago, Chile. In spring 2005, he taught a course on the political philosophy of the European Union at Georgetown University (Washington DC). He is contract Professors of “Theory of International Community” at the University Institute “Sophia” (2009-2011).

Susannah Heschel is the Eli M. Black Distinguished Professor of Jewish Studies at Dartmouth College. Her scholarship focuses on Jewish and Protestant thought during the 19th and 20th centuries, including the history of biblical scholarship, Jewish scholarship on Islam, and the history of anti-Semitism. Her numerous publications include Abraham Geiger and the Jewish Jesus (University of Chicago Press), which won a National Jewish Book Award, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (Princeton University Press), and Jüdischer Islam: Islam und Deutsch-Jüdische Selbstbestimmung (Mathes und Seitz). Heschel has been a visiting professor at the Universities of Frankfurt and Cape Town as well as Princeton, and she is the recipient of numerous grants, including from the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Foundation, and a yearlong Rockefeller fellowship at the National Humanities Center. In 2011-12 she held a fellowship at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. She has received four honorary doctorates from universities in the United States, Canada, and Germany. Currently she is a Guggenheim Fellow and is writing a book on the history of European Jewish scholarship on Islam. In 2015 she was elected a member of the American Society for the Study of Religion.

Besa Ismaili is a professor of English and a former Member of Parliament in the Assembly of the Republic of Kosovo. She worked for many years for various international organizations in Kosovo. Her research and publications focus on politics, society, women and religious matters in Kosovo and the Western Balkans, which are also part of her doctoral degree. Besa is known for her activism on women’s issues and has been a prominent voice for empowerment and again discrimination, exclusion and marginalization. An important part of her work has been related ot post war society, working with victims, countering violent extemism, survivors of sexual violence during the war, reconciliation and memory. These issues have also been part of her political agenda and activism. Besa speaks six languages. She has been awarded internationally on several occasions for her contributions to peacebuilding and dialogue. She is a mother of three and lives and works in Kosovo.

Rev. Peter Jörgensen was ordained Baptist pastor in 1990, after studying theology in Hamburg. Since 2003 he’s been pastor of the Baptist Church Berlin Mitte. From 2017 to 2019 he served as a Commissioner at the seat of the Federal Government of the Evangelical Free Churches. In 2020-2021 he was advisor to the Federal Foreign Office on Religion and Diplomacy. Since 2021, he has been Project Manager at the Federal Foreign Office/University of Augsburg/ Religions for Peace Europe.

Hikmet Karčić is a genocide and Holocaust scholar based in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is a researcher at the Institute for Islamic Tradition of Bosniaks. He was the 2017 Auschwitz Institute-Keene State College Global Fellow who has written extensively on genocide denial and atrocity prevention. A sought after commentator on international media outlets, his articles covering far-right extremism and mass atrocities have appeared in Haaretz, Newsweek and Foreign Policy. He is the author of Torture, Humiliate, Kill: Inside the Bosnian Serb Camp System (University of Michigan Press, 2022)

Igor Bencion Kožemjakin was born in Sarajevo on May 8, 1979, where he attended elementary school. He finished high school in Jerusalem, where he lived from 1994 to 2001. After returning to his hometown and not so successful studies at the Faculty of Law in Sarajevo, and then at the Faculty of Economics in Sarajevo, he continued his education in Stockholm at the European Institute for Jewish Studies, where he devoted himself to the study of the Jewish religion. He obtained his diploma in Jewish studies in 2008. For the past 15 years, he has been professionally engaged in interreligious dialogue as an employee of the Ministry of Religious Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He is professionally engaged as a hazan (pleader) of the Sarajevo synagogue, he is a member of the Presidency of “La Benevolencija” and the Council of National Minorities of the Canton of Sarajevo. He is married and the father of two children.

Zorica Kuburić is a full professor of Sociology of Religion and Sociology of Education at the University of Novi Sad, Faculty of Philosophy, and President of the Center for the Empirical Research of Religion ( She is founder and chief editor of the journal Religion and Tolerance (2002-2021). She is also a lecturer at the Center for Women’s Studies in Novi Sad, and guest lecturer at different Theological Faculties in the region. She is author of more than 10 books: Family and Mental health of Children (2001); Faith and Freedom: Religious Institutions in Yugoslavia (2002); Religion, Family and Youth (2008); Religious communities in Serbia and social distance (2010); Religious education in the School (2010); The Self-image of Adolescents in the Protestant Family, A study of Seventh-day Adventist Families in Predominantly Orthodox Serbia (2014); and Philosophy of theology and universal values, analysis of the contents of Bible and Quran (2018). Religion and mental health of believers (2021). The nurtured gene – The effects of early learning in personality development (2022). She wrote the essay in Worldlmark Encyclopedia of Religious Practices on Serbia and Montenegro.

Jonathan Laurence is a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy at Boston College. His principal areas of teaching and research are comparative politics and religion and politics in Western Europe, Turkey and North Africa. He is a former fellow of the American Academy in Berlin, Wissenchaftszentrum Berlin, Transatlantic Academy at the German Marshall Fund, Fafo Institute/Norwegian Research Council, LUISS University-Rome, Sciences Po-Paris and the Brookings Institution. Dr. Laurence’s most publication is Coping with DefeatSunni Islam, Roman Catholicism and the Modern State with Princeton University Press in 2021. Jonathan Laurence is also the Executive Director of Reset Dialogues US.

Dr. Jörg Lüer is the Secretary General of the German Commission Justitia et Pax, as well as Vice-Chairman of the Maximilian-Kolbe-Stiftung. He previously served as the Head of the Berlin Office of the German Commission Justitia et Pax (2001-2018) and as Secretary General of the European Conference Justitia et Pax (2005-2008). He is also a member of the Council for Crisis-Prevention to the Federal Government of Germany, of the Board of Trustees of the National Foundation “Flight, Deportation, Reconciliation” and of the Board of Trustees of the Aktion Sühnezeichen Friedensdienste.

Katherine Marshall, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs, leads the center’s work on religion and global development. She is also a professor of the practice of development, conflict, and religion in the Walsh School of Foreign Service, teaching diverse courses on the ethics of development work and mentoring students at many levels. She helped to create and now serves as the executive director of the World Faiths Development Dialogue, an NGO that works to enhance bridges between different sectors and institutions. Marshall has five decades of experience on a variety of development issues in Africa, Latin America, East Asia, and the Middle East, particularly those facing the world’s poorest countries. She was a World Bank officer from 1971 to 2006, and she led the World Bank’s faith and ethics initiative between 2000 and 2006.

Kenan Musić, associate professor and Head of the department for Islamic tradition (hadith) at the University of Sarajevo, Faculty of Islamic Studies. He graduated from Al-Azhar University in Cairo in 2002, Usuli-din, Hadith, and from Damascus University in 2005. Faculty of Islamic Law. He received his master’s degree and doctorate at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences in Sarajevo. His interests include Qur’anic and hadith studies, Sira – Prophet’s biography, work with youth and interreligious dialogue. Musić spent his entire career from assistant to associate professor at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences in Sarajevo, and from 2018 to 2020 he was the Head imam for the city of Sarajevo. He is the author of the commentary on the fifth volume of Imam Bukhari’s Sahih, Sarajevo 2008, and the author of the book: “Joy of ghazi – Mustafa Pruščak’s life and works”, Sarajevo 2010, “Meeting Rasulullah”, Sarajevo 2014, and the dissertation “Communicative Aspects of the Life of the Prophet, s.a.w.s., 2018”.

Dr. A. Rashied Omar a Research Scholar of Islamic Studies and Peacebuilding at the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, USA, and Imam of the Claremont Main Road Masjid in Cape Town, South Africa. His research and teaching focus on the roots of religious violence and the potential of religion for constructive social engagement and interreligious peacebuilding. He is author of “Economic Justice the Fulcrum of Strong Reconciliation” in Unfinished Business? Faith Communities and Reconciliation in a Post-TRC Context edited by CH Thesnaar & LD Hansen. (University of Stellenbosch, 2020), and serves as a trustee of the Healing of Memories Institute in South Africa.

Andres Felipe Pacheco Lozano, born in Colombia, is a Post-doc researcher and Lecturer at the Mennonite Seminary at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (The Netherlands). He is a research fellow at the Amsterdam Center for Religion and Peace & Justice Studies.

Katerina Pekridou serves the Conference of European Churches as Executive Secretary for Theological Dialogue. Prior to this appointment, she taught intercultural theology and mission studies at the Institute for Missiology and the Study of Theologies Beyond Europe (University of Münster, Germany), where she served as academic associate. Her professional experience includes consulting for the World Council of Churches Faith and Order Commission in 2011. She studied in Greece, the USA, Ireland and Germany, and is currently a doctoral candidate in the area of ecumenical ecclesiology at the KU Leuven, Belgium. Katerina is co-editor of the ‘Orthodox Handbook on Ecumenism: Resources for Theological Education’ (Regnum Edinburgh Centenary Series, 2014).

Isabel Piper is a psychologist from the Diego Portales University and a doctor in Social Psychology from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​Spain. She has a master’s degree in Social Psychology and a diploma in Specialized Higher Studies in Social Psychology, from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, ​​Spain. Currently, she is Postgraduate Coordinator of the Department of Psychology and belongs to the Academic Senate of said department. In addition, she is the coordinator of the Memory, History and Human Rights Subprogram of the Domeyko Society and Equity Program. She is a specialist in Social Psychology, and as such, has participated in research and published various scientific articles on: human rights, collective memory and places of memory.

Stephen J. Pope is Professor of Theological Ethics at Boston College. He works in the areas of virtue ethics, justice, peace-building, and reconciliation His research interests include in particular Christian ethics and evolutionary theory, charity and natural law in Aquinas, and Roman Catholic social teachings. He has written The Evolution of Altruism and the Ordering of Love (Georgetown, 1994) and Human Evolution and Christian Ethics (Cambridge, 2007), and he has edited Essays on the Ethics of St. Thomas Aquinas (Georgetown, 2001).

Melissa Raphael is Professor Emerita (Jewish Theology) at the University of Gloucestershire and teaches Modern Jewish Thought at Leo Baeck College, London.  She has also been an academic representative of the British Government on the then International Taskforce for Holocaust Education, Remembrance and Research; a Sherman Lecturer in Jewish Studies at the University of Manchester, and a Hussey Lecturer in the Church and the Arts at the University of Oxford. Melissa is the author of numerous articles and books including, more recently, The Female Face of God in Auschwitz: A Jewish Feminist Theology of the Holocaust (2003), Judaism and the Visual Image: A Jewish Theology of Art (2009)and Religion, Feminism, and Idoloclasm: Being and Becoming in the Women’s Liberation Movement (2019).

Rabbi Dr. Daniel Roth is the director of Mosaica, The Religious Peace Initiative which serves as a network of ‘insider religious mediators’ advancing both religious peace and mitigating crisis situations in Israel and the Middle East.  Roth also works to connect religious leaders to the tens of community mediation and dialogue centers throughout Israel that Mosaica supports.  In addition, Roth is a core faculty member at Bar-Ilan University’s Graduate Program for Conflict Management, Resolution and Negotiation, at Tel Aviv University’s International Program in Conflict Resolution and Mediation, where he teaches graduate courses on religious peacebuilding as well as supervises graduate students.  Roth was a senior research fellow at George Mason University’s Center for World Religions, Diplomacy and Conflict Resolution.  His book Third-party Peacemakers in Judaism: Text Theory and Practice, was published by Oxford University Press in Spring 2021.

Anina Schwarzenbach is a sociologist and postdoc with the Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Bern. Anina’s work focuses on social threats and governmental responses, state legitimacy, and citizen-state interactions. She was a postdoctoral fellow with the Harvard Kennedy School’s International Security Program, member of the Belfer Cyber Project team, and held research appointments at the University of Maryland and the Max-Planck-Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology.

Zilka Spahić Šiljak is deputy director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Postgraduate Studies at the University of Sarajevo. She holds a master’s degree in human rights and democracy, jointly conferred by the University of Bologna and the University of Sarajevo, and a PhD in gender studies from the University of Novi Sad. As a research scholar and public intellectual, Šiljak also draws upon more than a decade of experience in the higher education and nongovernmental sectors in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Šiljak’s research and activism focuses on the nexus of human rights, religion, politics, education, gender, and peace-building. She has previously taught on these topics at Arizona State University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Oslo, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Vienna, the University of Belgrade, and the University of Novi Sad. Her research has been included in such publications as Contesting Female, Feminist, and Muslim Identities: Post-socialist Context of Bosnia and Herzegovina and  Kosovo (2012); Women, Religion, and Politics (2010); Women Believers and Citizens (2009); Three Monotheistic Voices: Introduction to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (2009); and Religious Studies at Universities in BiH (2008).

Debora Tonelli is Georgetown University Representative in Rome and Research Fellow at the Berkley Center for Religion Peace and World Affair at the same University. She is Invited Lecturer in ‘Political Philosophy’, ‘Politics and Religion’ at the Pontifical Athenaeum S. Anselmo and in ‘Religion and Violence’ at the Gregoriana University (Rome). Moving from her background in Political Philosophy (PhD 2005, in Rome and Frankfurt/M, Germany) and Theology (PhD 2012, Münster, Germany), her current research and teaching activities are focused on the interaction between those two main fields, specifically inside the wider context of interreligious dialogue, with a key focus on the relationship between violence and biblical religions. Among her last publications: Fratelli tutti? Credenti e non credenti in dialogo con Papa Francesco, Castelvecchi, Rome 2022; a special issue on Religion, Violence and Reconciliation, in «Annali di Studi Religiosi» 21/2020, FBK Press, Trento 2020 and some articles in English and Italian language on human rights, decolonial theology, religious and divine violence.

Ernesto Valiente, Associate Professor of Systematic Theology, was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador. Prior to receiving a Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame, he earned a BA in Economics from Tulane University, and a Th.M. and an M.Div. from Weston Jesuit School of Theology.




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