Oasis was founded in 2004 in Venice, out of an intuition of Cardinal Angelo Scola, in order to encourage mutual understanding and opportunities for encounter between the Western world and the majority Muslim world.
The Foundation studies the interaction between Christians and Muslims and the manner in which they interpret their respective faiths in the current phase of mixing of peoples, ‘hybridisation of civilisations and cultures’, beginning with the life of the Eastern Christian communities. The dimensions of this historical process are unprecedented and its dynamic unstoppable, and it needs to be oriented towards the good life at individual and community levels.
According to Oasis, interreligious dialogue involves intercultural dialogue because religious experience is always lived and expressed through the medium of culture: not merely at the theological and spiritual level, but also at the political, economic, and social ones. The Foundation’s strength lies in the wide network of individuals who collaborate at international level to ensure the success of the project.
The Foundation, a body under Italian civil law, with Cardinal Angelo Scola as president, has the social aim of supporting the development of this cultural project. The registered office is in Rome; the management, editorial and administrative offices are in Venice and another executive office is in Milan.
The International Oasis Foundation participates in the activities organised by the Studium Generale Marcianum Foundation, which promotes the cultural and religious patrimony of the Patriarchate of Venice by contributing to the development of knowledge at an international level.
The research activity of Oasis is carried out in various ways:
1. The magazine (in paper and digital format), which is also named Oasis, is published twice a year in four editions: Italian; English-Arabic; French-Arabic; English-Urdu. The magazine can be purchased in bookshops or online through the Marcianum Press website.
2. The fortnightly newsletter, sent by email in five languages on request: Italian, English, French, Spanish and Arabic. To subscribe and receive the newsletter free, you just have to write your email address in the box you can find on the homepage.
3. The website which publishes papers, testimonies and interviews (videos too) on the most topical subjects and debates reaching the Foundation from the whole world thanks to its international network of relationships.
4. The two series of books, I libri di Oasis and Il Calamo.
In the first one the following books have been published: La promessa (The Promise) by Cardinal Lustiger; Cristiani e musulmani, fratelli davanti a Dio? (Christians and Muslilms: Brothers Before God?) by Christian Van Nispen; Dove guarda l'Indonesia? Cristiani e musulmani nel paese del sorriso (Where is Indonesia looking? Christians and Muslims in the Country of Smile), an in-depth reportage on Islam in the most populous Muslim country in the world by Maria Laura Conte; and L’ultimo dialogo. La mia vita incontro all’Islam (The Ultimate Dialogue. My Life: an Encounter with Islam) by Georges Anawati.
In the second one: Meticciato: convivenza o confusione? (Mestizaje: Coexistence or confusion?) by Paolo Gomarasca, outcome of a research project designed to explore one of the categories at the centre of the analysis engaged in by Oasis; Luce dell'invisibile. Itinerari del mosaico intorno al Mediterraneo orientale (Light of the invisible. Itineraries of the mosaic around the Oriental Mediterranean), by Elisabetta Concina, Anna Flores David, Mattia Guidetti.
Moreover, Oasis has published the Arabic and Turkish translation of the catechesis of Pope Benedict XVI. The series dedicated to St. Paul and to prayer were collected in three volumes:
‘Bûlus ar-Rasûl fî ta’lîm qadâsat al-Bâbâ [Paul the Apostle in the teachings of the Holy Father] and ‘Rabbi, ‘allim-nâ an nusallî’ As-Salât fi ta‘lîm al-Bâbâ Benedictus XVI [‘Lord, teach us to pray’], both co-publications of Éditions de la Librairie Pauliste of Jounieh and Marcianum Press of Venice, and Aziz Pavlus [Saint Paul], published thanks to the support of Kirche in Not, through the Turkish publishing house Sakoset.
5.The events: the main annual event of the Foundation is the International Scientific Committee, which is held every year in the third week of June and gathers together all the members of the Oasis committee and its many collaborators. In 2004 and 2005 it was held in Venice, in 2006 in Cairo, in 2007 in Venice, in 2008 in Amman, in 2009 in Venice, in 2010 in Beirut, in 2011 in Venice, in 2012 in Tunis, in 2013 in Milan. Besides this annual meeting there are other cultural events of different inspiration, promoted in different places in Europe and the Middle East. In particular the Oasis presentation at UNESCO (Paris 2005) must be mentioned, along with those at Al-Azhar University (Cairo 2006), the UN headquarters (New York 2007), Saint Joseph University in Beirut (2012), and in the English Parliament, Westminster-House of Lords (London 2012).
H.E. Card. Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan - H.B. Card. Antonios Naguib, Patriarch Emeritus of Alexandria of the Copts - H.B. Card. George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of Ernakulam-Angamaly - H.E. Card. Philippe Barbarin, Archbishop of Lyons - H.E. Card. Josip Bozanić, Archbishop of Zaghreb - H.E. Card. Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Budapest - H.E. Card. John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of Abuja - H.E. Card. Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Wien - H.E. Card. Jean-Louis Tauran, President of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue - H.B. Msgr. Fouad Twal, Patriarch of Jerusalem of the Latins - H.E. Msgr. Jean-Clément Jeanbart, Archbishop of Aleppo of the Melkites - H.E. Msgr. Maroun Lahham, Auxiliary Bishop of the Patriarch of Jerusalem for Jordan - H.E. Msgr. Fco. Javier Martínez, Archbishop of Granada - H.E. Msgr. Boghos Levon Zekiyan, Apostolic Administrator elected of Istanbul of Armenians - H.E. Msgr. Joseph Powathil, Archbishop Emeritus of Changanacherry - H.E. Msgr. Henri Teissier, Archbishop Emeritus of Algiers - H.E. Msgr. Camillo Ballin, Apostolic Vicar of Northern Arabia - H.E. Msgr. Paul Hinder, Apostolic Vicar of Southern Arabia - Prof. Carl A. Anderson, Supreme Knight, Knights of Columbus - Msgr. Francesco Follo, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to UNESCO
Tewfik Aclimandos - Mohammad Ali Amir-Moezzi - Carl Anderson - José Andrés Gallego - Francesco Botturi - Rémi Brague - Paolo Branca - Michele Brignone - Stratford Caldecott - Christian Cannuyer - Marialaura Conte - Salim Daccache - Martino Diez - Jean Duchesne - Jean-Paul Durand - Brian E. Ferme - Roberto Fontolan - Paolo Gomarasca - Henri Hude - Ramin Jahanbegloo - Samir Khalil Samir - Nikolaus Lobkowicz - Cesare Mirabelli - Tarek Mitri - Andrea Pacini - Jean-Jacques Pérennès - Andrea Pin - Javier Prades López - Hassan Rachik - Riccardo Redaelli - Gabriel Richi Alberti - Giovanna Rossi - Olivier Roy - Giovanni Salmeri - Giuseppe Scattolin - Ibrahim Shamseddine