The organizers of 2013 BSSRPL on „Syncretic Societies - Bridging Traditions and Modernity?", proceed from the idea that religion and religious identities are central for the life of individual and society, that our religious communities are those to which we devote our greatest loyalties. In our diverse but increasingly interconnected world, we need to find ways to live together in a world populated by people with very different political ideas, moral beliefs and communal loyalties.
The Goal of the Summer School is to provide a laboratory for the practical pedagogy of tolerance and living with difference in a global society. Its focus is on religion as a basic identification marker of individual and society, and its aim is to produce new practices and understandings for living together in a world populated by "differences".
The Balkan Summer School takes this very real challenge and tries to critically define differences, especially communal and religious differences between people, as the starting point of a publically shared life.
The target groups of the Balkan Summer School are the so called "secondary elites" and "agents of change" - from universities, clergy, media, NGO sector leaders and activists.
The Summer School's basic aim is to help participants realize their prejudices and to put under question their taken-for-granted everyday assumptions of the other through the following activities: 1) transformation of awareness and perceptions of participants to open the participants to "other" religious traditions and view those (traditions) not solely as a threat; 2) enhance understanding of tensions between modern secular and more traditional views of self and society; 3) cultivate in participants an understanding that to shape a truly civil society, devoted to tolerance and plurality of the human experiences we need to draw on religious traditions as well as modern secular thought and practice; 4) recruit the participants into an ongoing effort and a real dialogue with "others", to establish ongoing relationships and a network for continued interaction between them.
Activities are a combination of academic teaching, experiential field experience (practices) and emotional involvement (group dynamics).
The expected results of The BSSRPL are: 1. Awareness and transformation and of the participants; 2. Building a network of people sharing the goals of transformation of awareness regarding the place of religion in public life.
BSS already exists in the public area with the web site www.bssrpl.blogspot.com