The Parliament of the World’s Religions first convened as part of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. Fair organizers thought it would be interesting to bring religious leaders from around the world to speak to Americans. Speakers like Swami Vivekenanda opened the eyes of Americans to the wider world of religious diversity.
A second Parliament was held in 1993 to commemorate the 100th anniversary, and the delegates found it such an inspiring event that the Parliament has continued to convene roughly every five years, meeting in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999 and Barcelona, Spain in 2004.
The Parliament will next gather in Melbourne, Australia, in December of 2009, and several local efforts are underway to get the word out, to develop partnerships in our local region, and to give people “a taste of the Parliament.”
If you’re interested in helping out, contact the SouthBay Interfaith Steering committee at firstname.lastname@example.org We’ll update you as plans emerge, but in the meantime, consider attending the Parliament in 2009.