About Us

Throughout history, religions have been, on the one hand, a force of civilization, vectors of humanity, ethical principles and social cohesion; on the other, they were misunderstood, manipulated and radicalized, becoming the cause and instrument of war. In societies rich in multiple cultural references, such as those of the Member States of the European Union, different religions and cultures can play a role in the stability and harmony of the EU system. In France, as well as in Belgium and Holland, representatives of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and lay people representing different cultures, in their diversity, have expressed the vocation of establishing a program of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, in partnership with prestigious universities such as Sciences Po, the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain) and the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU), giving life to the Emuna Association (Emuna is a word of Semitic origin which, similar to the corresponding Amen and Amana and coming from a root that is common to different spiritual traditions, means faith, fidelity, spirituality). EMUNA is conceived as an invitation to seek new structures or spiritual foundations on which a society can support itself, evoking a common spiritual source inspiring humanity.

Based on these experiences the Luiss Institute for European Analysis and Policy (LEAP) has established the EURECA Observatory on Europe: Religions and Other Cultures with the aim of developing political, economic-legal and institutional scientific research activities at an Italian and European level between society, religious confessions and other cultures, fostering mutual knowledge of different religions and their intellectual and ritual traditions, and deepening the links between Italian and European culture and the various religions and cultures that permeate the modern society of the EU Member States. With the research activity, the EURECA Observatory aims to provide a high-level scientific program called EMUNA Italia that integrates people of different cultures, professors and ministers of religion, as well as other professionals with adequate skills and interest in the research project. The research seminars will be entrusted to teachers of proven excellence in the various scientific fields of reference: they will build a base of fundamental skills necessary for in-depth analysis in analytical processing, for the exercise of responsibility in the field of higher education and training by the religious communities themselves, to enrich each participant’s knowledge from a multidisciplinary point of view and to develop a network of knowledge and interaction useful for interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

In particular, this research activity will be aimed at the presentation of individual and collective research projects by EMUNA Italia participants based on innovative and scientifically proven methods, on critical thinking, on team work, on discussion with interlocutors from different horizons and on the conversation with witnesses.

The Founders of EMUNA Italia are Rector Emeritus of LUISS Prof. Massimo Egidi as scientific consultant, Rabbi Emeritus of the Israelite Community of Florence Prof. Joseph Levi, Jesuit Prof. Peter Dubovsky Rector of the Pontifical Biblical Institute of Rome and Prof. Daniela Scialabba of the same Pontifical Institute, Vice President of Coreis Yahya Pallavicini Imam of the Al Wahid Mosque in Milan and Dr. Abdellah Redouane General Secretary of the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy, Pastor Peter Ciaccio who heads the Waldensian and Methodist Community of Trieste , Minister of Religion and Vice President of the Italian and European Buddhist Institute Soka Gakkai Dr. Anna Conti, President of the Maitreya Foundation of the Italian Buddhist Union Prof. Maria Angela Falà, Russian Orthodox Theologian Prof. Maxsim Kivelev of the Pontifical Oriental Institute of Rome. EMUNA’s president is Prof. Fiorella Kostoris, Senior Fellow of LEAP and EMUNA’s director is Prof. Valentina Meliciani (LEAP Director).