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Conference: Council for the World Parliament of Religions: The 2009 Parliament

First held in Chicago in 1893, the Parliament of the World’s Religions brings together the world’s religious and spiritual communities, their leaders and their followers to a gathering where peace, diversity and sustainability are discussed and explored in the context of interreligious understanding and cooperation.

 

As the world’s largest interreligious gathering, the Parliament will

  • Convene religious and civil leaders and people of faith, spirit and goodwill from at least or more than 80 countries

  • Foster interreligious, civil and cross-cultural dialogue on important local, national, and global issues

  • Invite over 10,000 participants to work together for a just, peaceful, and harmonious society

  • Have global appeal, covering social concerns including understanding and respecting diversity, peace and Indigenous reconciliation

  • Engage worldwide religious, spiritual, secular, environmental, business and educational leaders to seek commitment and practical solutions through dialogue.

  • Promote and encourage social cohesion within societies locally and across the world.

 

The Parliament educates for global peace and justice by:

  • calling people of faith, spirit and goodwill to understand and respect differences.

  • exploring religious conflict and globalisation as defining challenges in the twenty-first century and provides tools for responding effectively.

  • creating cross-cultural networks that empower peace and reconciliation.

  • helping participants identify religious and spiritual responses to local, regional, and international challenges to peace and justice.

  • sensitising religious and spiritual communities to racial, ethnic and religious violence and provides strategies for defusing tensions.

The Parliament engages civil society by:

  • effectively mobilising religious and spiritual communities for a positive response in times of national and global crisis.

  • exploring the cultivation and governance of religious and ethnic diversity.

  • sensitising political and religious leaders to their responsibility for national social cohesion.

  • helping participants to deal with ethnic and religious tensions.

  • educating civil societies to deal with global and regional issues


Key Topics at the 2009 Parliament

Working towards a more just, peaceful and sustainable future lies at the heart of aspirations of people everywhere. Emerging at this moment in history is a growing and shared recognition that "we are all in this together." The deciding factor in our future will have to do with those things which will make us an Earth community, and for which we must take common responsibility.

 

The impetus to come to grips with this common responsibility for fostering an Earth community comes from two places: the practical and the spiritual. The following are among the most pressing challenges facing us that can only be addressed through these two inseparable dimensions. Each of these categories are the featured topics for the 2009 Parliament event in Melbourne, Australia.

 

Healing the Earth with Care and Concern

The Melbourne Parliament will draw forth the sacred nature of the environment from all religious and spiritual traditions, led by the Indigenous peoples of the earth. It will also showcase the partnership between communities and other guiding institutions in pursuing practical approaches for reversing climate change and its effects.

Reconciling with the Indigenous Peoples

The Parliament offers the opportunity to continue with the reconciliation process that the Australian government began by apologizing to Indigenous people for the wrongs committed against them. Using this Australian context, the Parliament will provide an opportunity for Indigenous peoples around the world to voice their own concerns and aspirations.

Overcoming Poverty in a Patriarchal World

The Parliament provides the occasion to focus on the struggle against dire poverty across the world with the aim of making poverty history. It will be designed to strengthen religious communities in their struggle against poverty, to provide practical suggestions in the fight against poverty and for the protection of families.

Creating Social Cohesion in Village and City

Increasingly in cities across the developed world, one's neighbors are 'other' with different cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds who wish to maintain the uniqueness and integrity of their identity. This leads to the formation of transnational communities in touch with their home society and the other parts of their diaspora. The Parliament will offer the opportunity to discuss social cohesion in the context of migration movements, transnational communities and the formation of multicultural societies and provide solutions and strategies from the grassroots to governments.

Sharing Wisdom in Search for Inner Peace

The Parliament presents an opportunity for faith traditions to share their spiritualities to others, both of and not of their tradition. It will highlight how spiritual frameworks provide a source of meaning to countless individuals; it will show how spirituality provides an anchor in a constantly changing world, an asset in time of personal and collective crisis and a source of personal and collective identity.

Securing Food and Water for All People

As the world faces challenges of consumption and sustainability, access to food and water for all people has become a pressing concern. The Parliament offers a context for religious and spiritual communities to better understand this growing crisis and to collaborate in exploring concrete possibilities for how to provide these basic necessities to everyone throughout the world.

Building Peace in Pursuit of Justice

Religious and spiritual communities can collaborate with one another and other guiding institutions to work to reverse the conditions of injustice and poverty that provide breeding grounds for extremism. Through encounter, dialogue and cooperative efforts, the Parliament will provide the opportunity to build the bonds of trust, cooperation, and understanding that it takes to overcome stereotypes and mutual misunderstanding.


The Cordoba Foundation's Amjad Saleem will be attending  the Parliament in Melbourne and will be participating on the following panel discussions:

  • Interreligious Partnerships for Ending Hunger

  • Religious and Spiritual Responses to Disasters

  • Islam 101 Series: Applying Islamic Principles for a Just and Sustainable World

  • Leadership Among Muslim Males in the Post 9/11 Era

He will be maintaining a  regular  personal blog during his trip which can be found here

 

For further information on the parliament and the 2009 parliament in general, please click here

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December 3 - 9 2009