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Towards A Global Ethic: Reaffirming Our Commitment to Interfaith Harmony on Parliament Anniversary

A Preface by Imam Dr. Abdul Malik Mujahid, Chair of the Board of Trustees

Human interconnectedness has been transformed dramatically by technology. However, our hearts and our minds are yet to be aligned with the God-given ideals of sharing more and consuming less to achieve better results for the humanity.

In a world where more than a billion people live under two dollars a day; where 45 million people are fleeing conflict and persecution; where fear, hate, and anger are rising, we have a responsibility to be good neighbors, to be compassionate, and to live by the Golden Rule.

The Parliament of the World’s Religions has been ahead of its time in envisioning a better future. Almost a century before the word “global village” was introduced in 1962, the Parliament literally invented the gift of interfaith for our world.

It was also well ahead of its time when the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic was issued at the 1993 Parliament. For the first time in history, representatives of all of the world’s religions agreed on the shared ethics that are grounded in their own religions and traditions:

• The principle of shared humanity

• The Golden Rule of reciprocity

• A commitment to peace and justice

In the last 20 years since the signing of this declaration, people have collected more than 700,000 pieces of content on this topic. There are organizations that have been established based on its theme. Some of these include the Global Ethic Foundation, the Institute for Global Ethics, and the Global Ethics Network. We have also seen the development of campaigns based on topics we advanced, such as the Charter of Compassion, a Charter of Forgiveness, A Common Word Between Us and You, and campaigns to promote the Golden Rule.

So at this juncture, on the 20th anniversary of the 1993 Parliament, we at the Parliament reaffirm our commitment to interfaith harmony by reissuing the Global Ethics and by reasserting our mission: to cultivate harmony among the world’s religious and spiritual communities, and to foster their engagement with the world and its guiding institutions in order to achieve a just, peaceful and sustainable world.

We must learn the forgotten lesson that “None of you has faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself.”

Let us, then, friends, share more and consume less!

Let us work hand in hand to change ourselves while saving the only planet we have.

May God open our hearts toward our neighbors. May our Creator open the hearts of our neighbors toward us. Amen.

This preface leads the 2013 reaffirmation of the vision of the Global Ethic penned by Parliament Chair, Imam Dr. Abdul Malik Mujahid on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the document. Join Imam Mujahid, the Parliament, and this generation’s voices for peace by signing the 2013 Call to Live Out the Vision Toward a Global Ethic! 

How the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions Changed My Life

by Kay Lindahl, CLP
from the Interfaith Observer

The 1993 Parliament was a watershed event in interfaith history, following in the footsteps of the first Parliament in 1893. Both events forged new ground and introduced new interfaith possibilities. In addition to making history, the 1993 Parliament transformed my life.

My love affair with the Parliament began before I had even heard of it. In 1989 my husband and I moved to a community where almost everything was new – the oldest buildings had been around for less than 20 years. We became involved in the founding of a church, holding the first service in our living room. We soon found a space to meet in the community room of a local bank.

Within a few months our community became an incorporated city. During this time we met people from other new congregations, of many traditions. Together we lobbied the City Planning Department to include zoning for non-profits and houses of worship in the new city plan, which we accomplished.

We made some wonderful friends during that time, and when that project ended we continued to meet. I invited the group to a conversation asking, “What would it be like to have a strong spiritual base in our community?” By the end of that meeting, we had formed a local interfaith organization, the Alliance for Spiritual Community. Its main focus was interfaith dialogue and being present at community events.

Click here to read the full article

Hans Küng on a Global Economic Ethic

Leading Catholic theologian Hans Küng discusses his groundbreaking work in applying commonly held religious ethics to business practices. The first modern Parliament of the World’s Religions in 1993, Chicago, culminated in the document “Toward a Global Ethic” which identifies ethical standards held in common by many of the world’s religions.

At the 2009 Parliament in Melbourne, Dr. Küng presented the Manifesto for a Global Economic Ethic, extending these ethical principles to the global economy and the world of business.

Blast from the Past: Highlights from ’93 Parliament

Bettina Gray hosts this interview series, A Parliament of Souls, which was filmed in Chicago in 1993 with several of the presenters from the 1993 Parliament.  Parliament of Souls was aired over PBS/ViSION-TV Canada and in 140 countries over AFN and there was a companion book published.

Guests include Dr. Aziza alHibri, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Dr. Hans Küng, and His Holiness Swami Chidananda.

Dr Hans Küng calls for Roman Catholic Reforms

Parliament major speaker Dr Hans Küng called on the Vatican to heed reform calls in the Roman Catholic Church,  The Age reported today.  ”Already the successor of this Pope will have to face the situation that churches are more and more empty, and parishes are without pastors, and communities are dissolving,” Küng said, arguing that reforms not discussed during Vatican II must be acknowledged soon.

Dr Hans Küng is the president of the Global Ethic Foundation of Tübingen University.  On Monday he launched his economic ethical manifesto at the Parliament of the World’s Religions.

To read the full article, click here.

Dr Hans Küng and Dr Dipak Jain Call for Economic Justice

The Age newspaper of Australia has written an article on major speakers Dr Hans Küng and Dr Dipak Jain, participants in the Parliament’s program A New Ethical Manifesto for the Global Economy.  “We have a responsibility to build an adequate financial structure in which ethics is not the icing on the cake,” said Küng, while Jain commented that business schools are partly responsible for the prevailing corporate culture.

To read the full article, click here.