On September 11th, 1893, the Columbian Liberty Bell at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago sounded ten times - symbolising what were then considered the ten great religious traditions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shintoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. As the bell tolled, more than 60 religious leaders from around the globe proceded into the Hall of Columbus to gather in solemn assembly. The ochre robes of Buddhist ascetics, the vermilion cloaks and turbans of Hindu swamis, the silk vestments of Confucians, Taoists, and Shinto priests, the sombre garb of Protestant ministers, all gathered together in the platform around a Catholic cardinal dressed in scarlet and seated in a high chair of state. The near-ecstatic crowd repeatedly burst into tumultuous applause, waving handkerchiefs and mingling tears with smiles. The World's Parliament of Religions was the first event of its kind in the history of the world: a gathering of representatives of numerous world religions for an exchange of views. It was also a turning point in American religious and cultural life, presaging the multiculturalism of a century later. This volume contains a selection of 60 representative and revealing addresses given to the Parliament, with introductions and notes by Professor Seager. The addresses include contributions by Protestant mainstream ministers, African Americans, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and other Asian religions. Also included are various "points of contact and contention", in which religious leaders attempted to analyse or reach out to their counterparts in other traditions.
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Co ,U.S.