Interview with Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice
tOne noteworthy recent initiative in Catholic/Muslim relations is the Oasis project, launched by Cardinal Angelo Scola of Venice in 2004. Though Oasis does not shy away from theological conversation, its accent is on understanding Islamic cultures, sometimes expressed as the ‘Islam of the people’ – what in journalistic parlance might be called ‘the Muslim street.’ In particular, Oasis is interested in the interplay between traditional cultures and the new forces of pluralism and mixture of peoples driven by globalization. (Scola likes to use the Italian term ‘meticciato’, which roughly corresponds to ‘mestizo’, to convey this idea.)
On Monday and Tuesday of this week, June 22-23, the scientific committee that directs Oasis met in Venice to take up the subject of ‘intepreting traditions in a time of blending.’ In conjunction with that event, I interviewed Scola, 67, on the current state of Christian/Muslim relations.