Opinion: Parliament Brings Hope for Peace

August 16, 2004

Source: Orlando Sentinel


On August 16, 2004 the Orlando Sentinel ran a column by Yudit Kornberg Greenberg, professor of religion at Rollins College (and a Pluralism Project affiliate), about his experience at the Parliament of the World's Religions in Barcelona, Spain: "The event was filled with rich teachings and multiculturalism and, most important, with hope. There were renowned scholars illuminating the causes and symptoms of fundamentalism and the problems of overconsumption; there were early-morning meditations with spiritual masters who spoke gently about self-healing and who embodied the spirit of true listening as a transformative experience. Members of nongovernmental organizations and volunteers strategized to support refugees, eliminate international debt for developing countries and increase access to clean water. We were surrounded by men and women from every corner of the world clothed in traditional garb of all colors... As I reflect on a world overrun by religiously motivated violence, the paradox of religion's role in teaching love for the other once again looms largely in my consciousness. Yet, by re-enacting the rituals of breaking bread together, of listening to and learning from each other we have, through these small acts of kindness, revealed to ourselves and the world the beauty and power of religious diversity and reaffirmed our commitment to work toward a peaceful world for our children."