Looking for reasons to attend the 2015 Parliament of the World’s Religions?

By Staff

The First World Parliament of Religions was held in 1893, in Chicago. People from various religious and spiritual traditions sat down together to affirm their commitment to cooperation and mutual understanding and appreciation. This October, the Parliament comes to Salt Lake City, Utah. Fifty global faiths and spiritual practices will come together under one roof in an interfaith dialogue on global peace, justice and sustainability.

1. To experience diversity in Utah. This will undoubtedly be the most diversity-rich event this year in Utah, and possibly the world, with over 10,000 people from 80 countries, representing 50 faiths and spiritual traditions, present.

2. To make history. Attending the Inaugural Women’s Assembly. Here in Salt Lake, for the first time at the Parliament, women will share their sources of spiritual empowerment and create a vital space for serious conversations on religion, women’s rights, and human rights and dignity.

3. To hear the world’s greatest leaders in peace and social activism. Attendees have a rare chance to hear, and possibly mingle with, today’s most influential leaders from around the world. Speakers at this year’s Parliament include: Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet and Nobel Peace Prize recipient; professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at the University of Oxford Dr. Tariq Ramadan; Rev. Jim Wallis, a political activist from the evangelical left; Oscar Arias Sanchez, former president of Costa Rica and Nobel Peace Prize recipient; Indian scholar, antiglobalist and environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva; Rabbi David Saperstein, formerly the director and chief legal counsel at the Union for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center; Lakota Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 19th generation Keeper of the Sacred White Buffalo Calf Pipe; The Venerable Dharma Master Hsin Tao, a Buddhist monk and former child soldier who has dedicated his life to political and social activism; and our very own Terry Tempest Williams, author, conservationist and activist.

4. To welcome the Parliament back to the United States. This will be the first time this international event has been held in the U.S. in more than 20 years. Past Parliament cities include Cape Town, South Africa; Barcelona, Spain; and Melbourne, Australia.

5. To learn leadership skills and peace-building techniques. You can prepare for the Parliament in an intensive two-day leadership retreat, October 13-14, on the Art of Participatory Leadership.

6. For inspiration. You will hear from great thinkers, activists and teachers as they tackle significant global issues. This year, the Parliament will address youth leadership in the interfaith movement, lead commitment-building sessions focused on the ever increasing dangers of climate change, speak to the widening wealth gap across the globe, and strategize ways to alleviate the tragic consequences of war, violence and hate speech.

7. To be part of a movement continuing the work for a more peaceful, just and sustainable world.

CATALYST 35% discount when you register by Sept. 30 and use code UtahCat2015. ParliamentOfReligions.Org

This article was originally published on September 1, 2015.