Promoting Interfaith Harmony to Address the Issues of Our Time
The Parliament of the World’s Religions seeks to promote interreligious harmony, rather than unity; this understanding is key to our framework.
Interreligious harmony is an attainable and highly desirable goal. Such an approach respects and is enriched by the particularities of each tradition. Moreover, within each tradition are the resources (philosophical, theological, and spiritual teachings and perspectives) that enable each to enter into respectful, appreciative, and cooperative relationships with persons and communities of other traditions. This is especially important as we work together to address the critical issues of our time.
The Parliament’s vision of, and commitment to, a just, peaceful, and sustainable world demands an address to the critical issues facing the human community and the earth. As stated in A Call to Our Guiding Institutions:
The realities of the world situation set the critical issues of our time in stark relief: disintegrating community; declining resources; injustice; divisions into rich and poor; spiritual indirection. However, if we address these issues from the perspective of shared moral principles and a “global ethic,” we find hope [in]…building community…commitment to sustainability…striving for justice…solidarity and service…seeking spiritual grounding.
The Parliament’s role as a facilitator of interfaith encounter, dialogue, and cooperative common action puts it in a unique position to encourage and enable the religious and spiritual communities themselves to address the critical issues in meaningful and powerful ways. The Parliament does this by:
- Working to establish respectful and trusting relationships with each religious and spiritual community;
- Providing models for encounter, dialogue, and cooperation within and among religious and spiritual communities;
- Encouraging religious and spiritual communities to develop their own rationales for interfaith dialogue and cooperation, and their own addresses to the critical issues;
- Providing models for, and access to, creative engagement between religion and spirituality and other guiding institutions (e.g. government, business and commerce, education, media and the arts, science and medicine, organizations of civil society);
- Bringing critical issues to the attention of religious and spiritual communities, along with thoughtful perspectives and up-to-date and reliable information;
- Assisting individual religious and spiritual communities, and “communities of communities” in developing their own visions of possible futures.