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Parliament of World’s Religions

Topics Covered: Modern Indian history from about the middle of the eighteenth century until the present- significant events, personalities, issues.

Parliament of World’s Religions:


127th anniversary of Swami Vivekananda’s in Chicago.


  • The Parliament of World’s Religions, held for the first time in 1893, from September 11 to September 27, saw eminent personalities from around the world at the same forum.
  • Swami Vivekananda addressed the audience first on September 11 followed by the closing speech on September 27.
  • He stressed upon world harmony, and how religions, while co-existing with one another, must preserve his individuality and grow according to his own law of growth.

Things you need to know about the Parliament of World’s Religions:

  • There have been several meetings referred to as a Parliament of the World’s Religions, the first being the World’s Parliament of Religions of 1893, which was an attempt to create a global dialogue of faiths.
  • The event was celebrated by another conference on its centenary in 1993.
  • So far, six international modern Parliaments have been hosted.
  • An organization was incorporated in 1988 to carry out the tradition of the Parliament of the World’s Religions by marking the centennial of the first Parliament.
  • The Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions is headquartered in Chicago. Its board of trustees are elected from various faith communities.

Participants in the first conference:

  1. Jain preacher Virchand Gandhi.
  2. Buddhist preacher Anagarika Dharmapala.
  3. Soyen Shaku, the “First American Ancestor” of Zen.
  4. Swami Vivekananda represented Hinduism.
  5. Christianity was represented by G. Bonet Maury.
  6. Islam was represented by Mohammed Alexander Russell Webb.
  7. Theism or the Brahmo Samaj was represented by Pratap Chandra Majumdar.
  8. The Theosophical Society was represented by the Vice-President of the society, William Quan Judge and by activist Annie Besant.



Prelims Link:

  1. About 1893 Parliament of World’s Religions.
  2. Main participants.
  3. Who represented Hinduism?
  4. Headquarters of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions.
  5. International modern Parliaments held so far.

Mains Link:

How Swami Vivekananda became the ‘messenger of Indian wisdom’ to West. Discuss.

Sources: PIB.