Join Dr. Chris Stacey for a presentation on Chicago’s 1893 World’s Parliament of Religions, which was held in conjunction with the Columbian Exposition. On September 11, 1893, The Parliament opened with international representatives of the world’s religions present. An Indian delegate, Swami Vivekanandar enthralled the audience with his call for religious tolerance and an end to fanaticism. Other notable speakers included Presbyterian minister John Henry Barrows, James Cardinal Gibbons for Roman Catholicism, Isaac Mayer Wise for Judaism, Mary Baker Eddy for Christian Science, Annie Besant for Theosophy, and reformer Frances Willard. The 1893 Parliament sought to unite "all religion against irreligion."
A singular moment in the creation of a more pluralistic religious culture in America, it introduced many Americans to Eastern religions and meditative practices such as yoga. Of course, the 17-day event was not without controversy. While some saw the Parliament as a watershed moment in interfaith dialogue, others saw a divided Christendom under threat from the religions of the East. We’ll look at the essential speeches given at the Parliament, the responses of the delegates and public participants who attended at the Permanent Memorial Art Palace (now the Art Institute of Chicago), and the press reactions throughout the world.
Date: Wednesday, March 29
Time: 6:30PM Central, 7:30PM Eastern, 4:30PM Pacific
Location: Zoom Video Conference