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 Muslim majority world.
Oasis 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’, stemming primarily from the experience 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 and editorial offices are based in Venice and Milan.
The research activity of Oasis is carried out in various ways:
1. The journal (in paper and digital format), which is also named Oasis, is published twice a year in four editions: Italian; English; French and Arabic. The journal is available both in print and in digital version. It is also possible to subscribe.
2. The fortnightly newsletter, sent by email in Italian, English, French. The subscription to the newsletter is free.
3. The website which publishes papers, testimonies, interviews and videos on the most topical subjects and debates.
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 Muslims: 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] 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. Research projects: they are characterized by an interdisciplinary approach that combines researchers from different backgrounds, and by a great attention to the international dimension. The most recent project, lasting two years (2014-2015), is titled Knowing Hybridization, Governing Change.
6. The events: Oasis promotes, also in cooperation with other cultural institutions, cultural events in Italy, Europe and the Middle East. In particular Oasis has been presented at UNESCO (Paris 2005), Al-Azhar University (Cairo 2006), the UN headquarters (New York 2007), Saint Joseph University in Beirut (2012), Westminster-House of Lords (London 2012) and Istanbul (2014). Of particular importance were the meetings of the Foundation International Scientific Committee. They were held in Venice (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011), Cairo (2006), Amman (2008), Beirut (2010), Tunis (2012), Milan (2013) and Sarajevo (2014).
H.E. Card. Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan - H.B. Card. Béchara Boutros Raï, Patriarch of Antioch of the Maronites - 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