Whilst stuck on a long drive today, I was lucky to come across an interview with Rev Dirk Ficca, Executive Director of the Council for a Parliament of the World's Religions. The Parliament is meeting here in Melbourne in December this year and I'm looking forward to being a part of it.
Dirk spoke intelligently and articulately about purpose of the Parliament, making two important points about what they are trying to achieve:
Firstly, they are aiming for harmony rather than unity. The point is not to pretend that all religions are the same or to blend them into a universal, homogenous belief system. Rather, acknowledging and accepting our differences, we learn to live together peacefully and in harmony with one another.
Secondly, trust is more important than agreement. There are people that agree with me on many things that I still may not trust, just as there are those with whom I might have significant disagreement but feel that I could trust with my life.
You can find out more about the Parliament at http://www.parliamentofreligions.org/