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A program of cooperation between the Institute of History of the University of Debrecen and the Institute of Hungarian History at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj was started a number of years ago, initiated by professors Klára Papp, István Orosz, and János Barta from Debrecen and professors Ákos Egyed, Gábor Sipos, and Judit Pál from Cluj. The joint work has recently been extended to involve intensive efforts by experts on archeology and ancient history, too.
“This program incorporates, among other things, research on ancient history and archeology. A part of the students from Kolozsvár [Cluj] come to the University of Debrecen to participate in our doctoral and PhD programs. We have given lectures at the partner institution covering archeology, ancient history, and Greek history in addition to our joint publications in the past couple of years,” said Péter Forisek, Associate Professor at the Institute of History of the University of Debrecen.
The topic of one of the above publications is religious tourism, or faith tourism. The research program focusing on this topic is headed by Elek Bartha, Vice-Rector for Education of the University of Debrecen, a professor at the Department of Ethnography.
"The subject matter of our joint research is religion, spaces of religious activities, sacred locations, and the cult of water. We also hold joint conferences on these topics,” said Elek Bartha.
Zsolt Molnár-Kovács, Head of the Institute of Hungarian History at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj, added that joint efforts could lead to significant results and research findings, sometimes even making up for deficiencies that might impede individual work due to the lack of financial means or human resources in the separate institutions.
“This cooperation creates a series of impressive scholarly opportunities for discussion. It is essential for us to find joint resources and to direct our mental capacities in the same direction, which hopefully can help in advancing the scholarly fields of history and archeology,” said Zsolt Molnár-Kovács, Head of the Institute of Hungarian History at Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj.
At the book show on Wednesday, participants included archeologists from Debrecen and Transylvania, researchers, historians, and university students from both sides of the border.