Parliament of World Religions Engages New Thought for First Time

parliament_world_religionsThe largest and longest-standing interfaith gathering in the world, the Parliament of World Religions, held its latest session in Salt Lake City, UT, in the middle of October. For the first time this year, New Thought was recognized as a legitimate religious movement or path, as was atheism. The Association for Global New Thought (AGNT) sponsored the years-long effort to get that movement’s adherents recognized as full participants in the Parliament.

The Parliament has been meeting every few years since its founding in 1893 as part of the Columbia World Exposition in Chicago. That first Parliament gathering saw the American debut of Eastern mystic traditions, including what has become a quite famous speech by Yogananda Paramahansa, founder of the U.S.-based Self-Realization Fellowship. The group regularly re-examines its scope and invites other religious traditions to become part of the interfaith conversation it represents. Notably, it was also the first time the Mormon Church (officially the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) had been invited to participate as well. Which was particularly fitting since Salt Lake City is home to that church.

Representing the perspective of New Thought were five prominent leaders who conducted a panel entitled “A New Spirituality for the 21st Century.” You can watch a video replay of that panel here.

This conference will continue to be an important gathering place for people from all the world’s great traditions and paths who are interested in transcending individual doctrinal differences in an effort to accomplish things that affect all people of faith. The parliament drew 10,000 people from 50 countries and 80 individual faith traditions.

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