The 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions, held in Melbourne, Australia from December 3-9, 2009, brought together 6,500 participants representing over 2OO religions and spiritual traditions from over 80 countries.
discussions, sacred and cultural performances, intra— and inter—religious engagement, art exhibits and countless impassioned and impromptu conversations.
The Parliament’s theme, “Making a World of Difference: Hearing each Other, Healing the Earth,” included presentations by President Jimmy Carter, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan, acclaimed Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan, the Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh, Rev. Father Hans Kung, scholar Karen Armstrong, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sister Joan Chittister and many, many others. In addition, a special delegation from the White House and the U.S. Department of State journeyed to Melbourne for insights on improving Muslim relations.
Hundreds of programs explored critical issues through the many lenses of diverse religious perspectives:
- Healing the Earth with Care and Concern
- Honouring Indigenous Peoples & Self—Determination
- Overcoming Poverty in an Unequal World
- Securing Food and Water for All People
- Building Peace in the Pursuit of justice
- Creating Social Cohesion
- Sharing Wisdom in the Search for Inner Peace
Additional Program Symposia included:
- Islam in the Global Context
- Women in Leadership
- Conﬂict Resolution
- Nuclear Non—Proliferation
- Business Ethics
The programmatic agenda aimed to cultivate awareness of global interconnectedness. Through a decentralised methodology based on innovation, open sourcing, capacity building and partnership, CPWR facilitated an opportunity for convergence and harmony at this 2009 Parliament — and in so doing, advanced the interreligious movement’s engagement with the World and its guiding institutions.
2009 Melbourne Parliament Logo and literature © Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions; Images courtesy Parliament Photographer Ray Messner, Flickr; Meeting of the Faiths © Fairfax News, Melbourne, 2009