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1893 Parliament of the World's Religions

What Happens When Governments Foster Interfaith Action?

The question is no longer, “Should governments foster interreligious action?” but instead, “How should they do it?” And then, “What happens when they do?”

John Henry Barrows: Producing the First Parliament of Religions

Charles Carroll Bonney has been properly credited for coming up with the idea of a World Parliament of Religions. But it was John Henry Barrows who made the historic 1893 event a reality. Bonney’s idea was that the World Fair in Chicago and its great exhibits should be accompanied by a series of “congresses” or parliaments to provide a forum for discussing the state of anthropology, art, commerce and finance, education, labor, literature, medicine, philosophy, temperance, and religion. The most important congresses to Bonney were about religion. He, therefore, established a committee to organise them and appointed Rev. Dr. John Henry Barrows the chair.