The Parliament of the World’s Religions, a global interfaith assembly whose roots go back into the late 19th century, will convene once again this coming year in Salt Lake City, Utah from October 15-19. This is the first time since 1993 that the Parliament will be held in the United States.
The overall theme for the 2015 assembly will be “Reclaiming the Heart of Our Humanity,” with particular attention to issues of climate change, war and violence, and the widening gap between rich and poor. There will be hundreds of workshops, panels, worship experiences, art performances, seminars and training sessions, along with the opportunity to meet religious leaders and activists from around the world.
Keynote speakers this time will include His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who spoke at the last Parliament held in Melbourne, Australia, in 2009, and Karen Armstrong, religious scholar and creator of the Charter for Compassion.
The first Parliament of the World’s Religions took place in 1893, as part of the Chicago World’s Columbian Exposition. Religious leaders were invited from around the world to meet and talk about their traditions. Unexpectedly, one of those leaders, Swami Vivekenanda from India, emerged as an inspiring and charismatic speaker. He was invited to speak again, and this event marks the first time that Hindu teaching came to the U.S.
In the 1980’s a group suggested holding a centennial celebration of the gathering, and thus the first contemporary Parliament was held in Chicago in 1993. That revival proved so meaningful that it was followed by additional assemblies in Cape Town, South Africa in 1999, Barcelona, Spain in 2004, and Melbourne, Australia in 2009. (Read about the history of the Parliament.)
Special Early Bird registration rates are available until March 31. For full information and registration, see the Parliament web site.