2023 Parliament of the World's Religions

Connect with the GTU at the 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions

The GTU is joining this year's Parliament of the World’s Religions Convening, this coming August. The Parliament of the World's Religions is a premier interfaith convening of civic, spiritual, and grassroots changemakers. Multiple members of the GTU's faculty and staff are to join this event, amongst other participants worldwide, where they will create and engage in discussions surrounding several diverse topics. 

Connect with GTU Faculty and Staff at PoWR

Human Dignity and Rights – A Reflection on the Principal Islamic Sources, with Mahjabeen Dhala
Tuesday, Aug 15, 5:00 PM - 6:30 PM (CDT) Room E271b

As stated in Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, there is a direct relationship between human dignity and rights. This session examines this relationship from an Islamic perspective, and more importantly, it addresses the basis and source of human dignity. The presenters argue in Islamic sources focusing on the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, and the School of Ahl al-Bayt, that this dignity is a divine blessing to all human beings, not a gift of the State or the result of a social contract that can be violated by the State or based on another social contract. Emphasizing dialogue and mutual understanding between human rights institutions and religious leaders to expand the culture of respect for the dignity and human rights in today's polarized and crisis-ridden world is another part of the discussions.

(Also speaking: Seyed Masoud Noori, Sayyid Kashmiri, Mehdi Hazari)


Christian-Muslim Dialogue on Eco-justice, International Peace, and Elimination of Discrimination, with Mahjabeen Dhala
Wednesday, Aug 16, 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM (CDT) Room E271b

Our world’s super-challenges and complicated crises are: global warming that has caused other crises including, but not limited to, climate change, climate apartheid, climate refugees, damage to biodiversity; cross-border wars, intra-border armed conflicts, and weapons of mass destruction which are an immediate threat to humanity's lives, health, and mental health; and overt and hidden discrimination based on race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinions, national or social, origin, property, birth, and other statuses. On the other hand, Christians and Muslims are the most significant religious population in the contemporary world. This round table examines the primary sources and Christian and Muslim religious leaders' views on achieving Eco-justice, International Peace, and eliminating all kinds of discrimination as solutions to the mentioned crises.

(Also speaking: Seyed Masoud Noori, Sayyid Kashmiri, Mehdi Hazari Chloe Breyer, Elias Mallon)

"Together" Screening, followed by a Q&A with Sephora Markson and Emily Morrow
Thursday, Aug 17, 5:30 PM (CDT) Room E351

Discover the impact of embracing different spiritual perspectives through the story of the Graduate Theological Union. This landmark union was formed in Berkeley, CA in the 1960s based on a vision for what a model of collaboration through appreciating differences — rather than being divided by them — could achieve. It was a radical vision, as were other movements gaining momentum at the time, such as civil rights, gender equality, and climate justice. The GTU has been at the forefront of advancing theological engagement with these issues, remaining steadfast in its commitment to building a better world since 1962.'

Watch TOGETHER to explore the power of interreligious dialog and join the filmmakers, along with key leadership from the GTU, for a Q&A that will provide insight into the film's production process as well as a rich discussion around the urgent relevancy of the GTU's mission in the world.

Many Roads to the Kingdom of Heaven: Swedenborgianism's Cultural Legacy, with Devin Zuber
Friday, Aug 18, 10:30 AM - 12 PM (CDT) Room E271b

This session explores the various cultural and religious responses to the teachings of Swedish visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Swedenborg was a uniquely ecumenical thinker and insisted that God’s love and presence could be felt at the core of every religion. This theological openness inspired a wide range of thinkers, artists, and writers, who used Swedenborg’s thought to challenge religious exclusivism and cultural hegemony in new and exciting ways. The session highlights the tradition’s diversity and its response to millenarianism, 19th-century American religion, and Western Sufism.

(Also speaking: Dell Rose, Jim Lawrence)