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Council of the Parliament

The World Celebrates the First Parliament of Religion

The World Celebrates the First Parliament of Religion

by Marcus Braybrooke

A quarter of a century ago, to celebrate the centenary of the first World Parliament of Religions, 1993 was observed in many parts of the world as a “Year of Inter-religious Understanding and Co-operation.”

Going to My First Parliament

Going to My First Parliament

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

What would the world look like if we lived together in peace? What would it taste like? What would it smell like and sound like?

What to Expect at the Toronto Parliament

What to Expect at the Toronto Parliament

by Brian Carwana

The 2018 Parliament of World Religions, coming to Toronto November 1-7, will be an enormous interfaith event, with estimates of up to 10,000 attending.

Parliament Planning for Kids and Children This Time

Parliament Planning for Kids and Children This Time

by Vicki Garlock

For the first time ever, the Parliament, in conjunction with Spiritual Playdate, is offering a kids’ program! The theme for the first-ever family festival in Toronto this November is “Plant an Interfaith Garden.”

Connecting the Past to the Present

Connecting the Past to the Present

by Tarunjit Singh Butalia

It was the summer of 2017. My three children and I were on our way to Delhi to spend three weeks with the extended family in sweltering heat of over 110 degrees Fahrenheit.

The Cosmic Mass Returns to the 2018 World Parliament

The Cosmic Mass Returns to the 2018 World Parliament

by Matthew Fox

I have been involved in celebrating Cosmic Masses throughout North America for the last 24 years. We have sponsored more than 100 of them in various cities and have people to lead them around the country.

Toronto to Host the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions

Toronto to Host the 7th Parliament of the World's Religions

Press Release

Toronto – acclaimed the most diverse city in the world and home to six million Canadians – has been chosen as the host city of the 7th Parliament of the World’s Religions, to be convened in November 1-7, 2018. The selection of Toronto was made by the Board of Trustees of the governing organization at its April 2017 meeting.

Bill and Jean Lesher's Lifetime Interfaith Partnership

Bill and Jean Lesher's Lifetime Interfaith Partnership

by Ruth Broyde Sharone

In the past 30 years of grassroots labor, I’ve occasionally encountered couples as devoted to interfaith activism as they are to one another. Such is the case of Jean and William Lesher, two people who live, breathe, and exemplify what it means to be in partnership and to share a lifelong commitment to the interfaith movement.

Don’t Forget the Mystics

The recent Parliament of World Religions in Salt Lake City has been called the “123rd birthday of the international interfaith movement,” which is often said to have had its origin at the Chicago Parliament in 1893. It was a time to celebrate the global growth of the movement and its growing maturity. The emphasis was no longer on the need to talk to each other but on what we should be doing together.

Women Powerfully, Silently Walk Together For Peace

Voices fell quiet as hundreds of women of different faith traditions filed silently through the busy throngs at the Salt Palace Convention Center on the opening day of the Parliament of the World’s Religions. The gathering that happens every five years brings together thousands of religious and spiritual people from around the world.

Interfaith Skill-sets: Communicate, Connect, and Work Together

Nothing challenges the planners of massive interfaith gatherings so much as selecting proposed workshops for a schedule that lasts but a few days. The planners of the Salt Lake City Parliament of the World’s Religions received more than 2,000 workshop proposals hoping to shoehorn their way into the October 15-19 schedule.

My Five Days at the Parliament of the World’s Religions

The Parliament of the World’s Religions was held on October 15-19, 2015 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Roughly 10,000 people attended this year’s event, representing hundreds of nations and more than 50 faith traditions. Attendees included academics engaged in roundtable discussions of peace, disarmament, conflict resolution and climate change; leaders of various faith communities (Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, Neopagan, indigenous, interspiritual, and more) committed to spreading peace and compassion in the world; as well as spiritual seekers and activists dedicated to healing their own communities from within and using interfaith dialogue to bridge some of those divides.

Five Reasons that ‘Interfaith’ Is Not a Movement (Yet)

Without much general public notice, we have just passed the 50-year mark since the Second Vatican Council issued Nostra Aetate, forever changing the way religions and people of faith see and constructively interact with one another. Nostra Aetate continues to have a ripple effect, inspiring people and organizations to become intentional and strategic about advancing relations between faiths.

Attending the Parliament of the World’s Religions for the First Time

The Parliament of the World’s Religions held last month in Salt Lake City, Utah, was among the most inspiring experiences of my life. From the first day forward I was in awe. Never had I seen so many people passionate about both interfaith and their own faith gathered in one place. The inherent sense of community present among this group of more than 10,000, most of them strangers to one another, was amazing. Over and over I fell into conversation with people I happened to be standing next to – conversations that could last for thirty minutes!

The Parliament of the World’s Religions: 1893 and 1993

Contemporary reflections about interreligious institutions and practices commonly highlight an ambitious meeting in Chicago in 1893, termed the World’s Parliament of Religions, as a starting point of the modern interfaith movement.

Why is the Parliament of the World’s Religions Important?

Anyone who has attended one or more of the modern Parliaments (starting with the 1993 centennial celebration in Chicago) comes away with a multitude of stories and new friendships. Being with thousands of interfaith activists, by itself, tends to change your perspective on the world. TIO asked leaders from the interfaith movement to share with us briefly what they think is important about the Parliament of the World’s Religions. For a longer response, see Marcus Braybrooke’s reflection in this TIO on attending all the modern Parliaments.

Parliaments Past – A Personal Journey

“Were you there yourself?” a student asked me after I had given a talk about the 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions. “No” was the answer, but Mary and I have taken part in all the modern Parliaments of World Religions.

A Journey into the Language of Interfaith

Time and patience has ruled a journey that seemed to be lost in an abyss. It started in December 2009 while sitting on the floor of the Melbourne Conference and Exhibition Centre in a kindred conversation with Don Benson. We were both exhausted as the Parliament of World’s Religions approached its conclusion. In a moment of inspiration Don posed a proposition that seemed as hopeful as it was monumental.

New CEO Selected by the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Daniel Hostetler began as the new executive director of the Parliament of the World’s Religions on April 20. Hostetler brings more than 30 years experience in corporate consultancy and non-profit management, most recently directing operations and finance with the Dupage-Aurora World Relief in Illinois, an international Christian nonprofit supporting refugees and immigration issues.

Christianity and Interreligion in South & Southeast Asia

Living in a multi-religious society is still a new experience for many people in Europe and America, but in Asia members of one faith community have traditionally coexisted in the same geographical space with those of others. Crossing boundaries – for example, marrying a member of another community – could result in social ostracism. At times, sharp controversy and, sadly, horrific violence has been suffered, as when India was partitioned. At other times, for centuries in millions of villages and town, neighbors from different traditions have gotten on well, been friends, and even enjoyed some practical cooperation.