World History Moment: Inaugural Meeting Of The Parliament of the World's Religions

Gandhi's granddaughter Ela, presents former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, the Gandhi King Award for Non-violence at the Parliament of the World's religions in Good Hope centre, Cape Town, Sunday Dec. 5, 1999.
Gandhi's granddaughter Ela, presents former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, the Gandhi King Award for Non-violence at the Parliament of the World's religions in Good Hope centre, Cape Town, Sunday Dec. 5, 1999. Obed Zilwa / Associated Press
Gandhi's granddaughter Ela, presents former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, the Gandhi King Award for Non-violence at the Parliament of the World's religions in Good Hope centre, Cape Town, Sunday Dec. 5, 1999.
Gandhi's granddaughter Ela, presents former South African President Nelson Mandela, right, the Gandhi King Award for Non-violence at the Parliament of the World's religions in Good Hope centre, Cape Town, Sunday Dec. 5, 1999. Obed Zilwa / Associated Press

World History Moment: Inaugural Meeting Of The Parliament of the World's Religions

As Chicago hosted the iconic 1893 World’s Fair (Columbian Exposition), social movements capitalized on the event to launch ideas into the public sphere that still exist today. A group of the world’s religious leaders used the opportunity to begin an organization for ecumenical dialogue. For our World History Moment, historian John Schmidt tells us about the inaugural meeting of the Parliament of the World's Religions. On a side note, at the meeting, Yoga philosophy was introduced to the Western world through a speech by Swami Vivekananda.