World Parliament of Religions
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Time Period
8/1/1893  - 10/1/1893
Description
The World’s Parliament of Religions gathered in 1893 in Chicago under the umbrella of the Columbian Exposition. Organized by Presbyterian minister John Henry Barrows (1847-1902), it was a uniquely pluralistic event, introducing Christians in America to an array of faiths from around the globe.

It is particularly known for shining a spotlight on Asian religions whose speakers gave inspiring explanations of their beliefs -- including Anagarika Dharmapala (1864-1933) and Swami Vivekananda (1863-1902), the first Theravada Buddhist missionary and first Hindu missionary, respectively, to this country.

In his opening address, Rev. Barrows raised this challenge: "Why should not Christians be glad to learn what God has wrought through Buddha and Zoroaster -- through the sage of China, and the prophets of India and the prophet of Islam?"

The parliament is widely considered the foundational building block for inter-religious cooperation in the United States.
Interactive Timeline(s)
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian)
Browse Related Timeline Entries
Prominent Religious Events and People in American History
Religious Minorities (Non-Christian) in American History
Religious Groups
Timeline Entries for the same religious group Buddhist

Timeline Entries for the same religious group Christian Science Family
Christian Science Family: Other ARDA Links

Timeline Entries for the same religious group Hindu

Timeline Entries for the same religious group Islamic

Timeline Entries for the same religious group Judaism Family
Judaism Family: Other ARDA Links

Biographies
Hirsch, Emil
Vivekananda, Swami
Webb, Alexander Russell
Payne, Daniel Alexander
Photographs

World Parliament of Religions 1893- Internet Archive- from The World's Parliament of Religions, vol 1 by John Henry Barrows

John Henry Barrows portrait- Hathi Trust- from Le Congres des Religions by G. Bonet-Maury

Vivekananda and Dharmapala at Parliament of Religions- Wikimedia Commons

World Parliament of Religions in session- Hathi Trust- from The World's Parliament of Religions, vol 2 by John Henry Barrows
Book/Journal Source(s)
Smith, Jonathan Z., and William Scott Green (Eds.), 1995. The HarperCollins Dictionary of Religion. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco.
Tweed, Thomas A. and Stephen Prothero (Eds.), 1999. Asian Religions in America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Web Page Contributor
Sandi Dolbee
Affliated with: Former Religion and Ethics Editor, The San Diego Union-Tribune

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