The Interfaith Observer Series Explores Value of 2015 Parliament

The Interfaith Observer recently printed a series of articles entitled, “Preparing for the Salt Lake City Parliament of the World’s Religions,” detailing the history of the Parliament from 1893 to the present, as well as offering varied perspectives from interfaith leaders on the impact of this conference to the movement at large.

First in the series, “A Brief History of the 1893 Parliament of the World’s Religions,” edited by Derek Michaud, was reprinted from the Boston Collaborative Encyclopedia of Western Theology, recounting the story behind the world’s first Parliament, from John Henry Barrow’s struggles in staging the event, to Swami Vivekanada’s famous address to the assembly.

Marcus Braybrooke, co-founder of Peace Councillor and Three Faiths Forum, follows with a personal account of his experiences at the 1993 Chicago Parliament through Melbourne 2009, reflecting on how the Parliament modified it core values to create a greater sense of inclusion and justice: “The...Parliament of the World’s Religions had made clear that its aim was now to encourage ‘harmony rather than unity,’ ‘convergence rather than consensus.’ This shift is highly desirable.”    

Finally, “Why is the Parliament of the World’s Religions Important?” shares the vision of leaders key to the interfaith community, depicting a myriad of perspectives answering this vital question. Kay Lindahl, co-founder of Women of Spirit and Faith, describes the Parliament as “a lived experience of inclusion on a grand scale,” while William Swing, founder and president of United Religions Initiative, compares the Parliament to “The Grand Central Station of Interfaith for people traveling along the railroads of peace building.”

Be sure to check out more from The Interfaith Observer in the months to come. Established in 2011, TIO is a free, monthly electronic journal exploring issues facing the interfaith community. It is an excellent resource for the latest news associated with an emerging interreligious culture.

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